What is it all for, this poetry,
This bundle of accomplishment
Put together with so much pain?
Twenty years of hard labor,
Lessons learned from Li Po and Dante,
Indian chants and gestalt psychology;
What words can it spell,
This alphabet of one sensibility?
The pure pattern of the stars in orderly progression,
The thin air of fourteen-thousand-foot summits,
Their Pisgah views into what secrets of the personality,
The fire of poppies in eroded fields,
The sleep of lynxes in the noonday forest,
The curious anastomosis of the webs of thought,
Life streaming ungovernably away,
And the deep hope of man.
The centuries have changed little in this art,
The subjects are still the same.
“For Christ’s sake take off your clothes and get into bed,
We are not going to live forever.”
--from 'August 22, 1939'; Kenneth Rexroth