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Yvor Winters

(1900 - 1968 / United States)

The Moralists


You would extend the mind beyond the act,
Furious, bending, suffering in thin
And unpoetic dicta; you have been
Forced by hypothesis to fiercer fact.
As metal singing hard, with firmness racked,
You formulate our passion; and behind
In some harsh moment nowise of the mind
Lie the old meanings your advance has packed.


No man can hold existence in the head.
I, too, have known the anguish of the right
Amid this net of mathematic dearth,
And the brain throbbing like a ship at night:
Have faced with old unmitigated dread
The hard familiar wrinkles of the earth.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010
Edited: Monday, May 09, 2011

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