I have just now considered my shorter poems of the past quarter
century, trying to choose a few lines for this collection, and the con-
clusion is that I am quite unfit to be an anthologist, at least of my
own work. But perhaps it would be equally unpleasant to read any
other person's rapidly en masse for a purpose. It is like chewing
However, here are the three brief poems that I least dislike at
present; and that seem to represent the prevailing winds of my
thought in poetry. The first is about thirteen years old, the two
SPIRITS and illusions have died,
The naked mind lives
On the beauty of inanimate things.
Flowers wither, grass fades, trees wilt,
The forest is burnt;
The rock is not burnt.
The deer starve, the winter birds
Die on their twigs and lie
In the blue dawns in the snow.
Men suffer want and become
Curiously ignoble; as prosperity
Made them curiously vile.