Our Trojan world is polarised to mourn;
To dream and find a black spot on the sun,
And wake to love and find our lover gone.
The destination of any weapon is grief.
In homesteads now where joy must seem naive
Under a splitting sky our women conceive.
The towns of houses, massed security
Out-generalled by a later century,
Are hearse-plumes on an old economy.
The ache of crushed walls when the raid is over.
This is a house, we said, we have built forever:
A two-backed fool, thinking of one day's weather.
Only one monster has to love his error.
Only his wrangling heart cannot recover,
But glories in illusion when half cadaver;
Or likes being ill, or nurses grievances,
Or calls a mountain or a forest 'his',
Or quarrels in five hundred languages.
And man, erect, unvenerable,
A bloodshot eye so simply vulnerable
That half his history is marginal,
Incises stone in the Bastille of hate:
'Give us this day before it is too late
Something to love indeed, enough to eat.'
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Comments about this poem (Ragnarok by Kenneth Allott )
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