Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1973
Genre Poetry
Origin UK
Publisher Vintage
ISBN-10 0679731970
ISBN-13 978-0679731979
My Copy paperback, new printing.
First Read December 14, 2009

Collected Poems



(to E. M. Forster)

Though Italy and King's are far away,
And Truth a subject only bombs discuss,
Our ears unfriendly, still you speak to us,
Insisting that the inner life can pay.

As we dash down the slope of hate with glee
You trip us up like an unnoticed stone,
And, just when we are closeted with madness
You interrupt us like the telephone.

Yes, we are Lucy, Turton, Philip: we
Wish international evil, are delighted
To join the jolly ranks of the benighted

Where reason is denied and love ignored,
But, as we swear our lie, Miss Avery
Comes out into the garden with a sword.

Quoted on August 31, 2015

FIRST SHEPHERD
"That is why we are able to bear
Ready-made clothes, second-hand art and opinions
And being washed and ordered about;

SECOND SHEPHERD
That is why you should not take our conversation
Too seriously, nor read too much
Into our songs;

THIRD SHEPHERD
Their purpose is mainly to keep us
From watching the clock all the time.

For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio, 1942

Quoted on January 25, 2010

Now all things living,
Domestic or wild,
With whom you must share
Light, water, and air,
And suffer and shake
In physical need,
The sullen limpet,
The exuberant weed,
The mischievous cat,
And the timid bird,
Are glad for your sake
As the new-born Word
Declares that the old
Authoritarian
Constraint is replaced
By His Covenant,
And a city based
On love and consent
Suggested to men,
All, all, all of them,
Run to Bethlehem.


from A Christmas Oratorio

Quoted on December 28, 2010

JOSEPH:
All I ask is one /
Important and elegant proof /
That what my Love had done /
Was really at your will /
And that your will is Love.

GABRIEL:
No, you must believe.

For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio, 1942

Quoted on January 25, 2010

Should storms, as may well happen,
Drive you to anchor a week
In some old harbour-city
Of Ionia, then speak
With her witty scholars, men
Who have proved there cannot be
Such a place as Atlantis:
Learn their logic, but notice
How their subtlety betrays
A simple enormous grief;
Thus they shall teach you the ways
To doubt that you may believe.

Quoted on July 20, 2010


Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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