The Modernist Web
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ford Madox Ford
George Bernard Shaw
William Butler Yeats
Hugh Selwyn Mauberly
from the “eau-forte
To the strait head
“His true Penelope
And his tool
Not the full smile,
His art, but an art
Pisanello lacking the skill
To forge Achaia.
“Qu’est ce quils savent de l’amour, et
qu’est ce qu’ils peuvent comprendre?
S’ils ne comprennent pas la poèsie,
s’ils ne sentent pas la musique, qu’est ce
qu’ils peuvent comprendre de cette pas-
sion en comparaison avec laquelle la rose
est grossière et le parfum des violettes un
three years, diabolus in the scale,
He drank ambrosia,
All passes, ANANGKE prevails,
Came end, at last, to that Arcadia.
He had moved amid her phantasmagoria,
Amid her galaxies,
Drifted.... drifted precipitate,
Asking time to be rid of....
Of his bewilderment; to designate His new found orchid....
To be certain.... certain....
(Amid ærial flowers).. time for arrangements—
To the final estrangement;
Unable in the supervening blankness
To sift TO AGATHON from the chaff
Until he found his seive.....
Ultimately, his seismograph:
—Given, that is, his urge
To convey the relation
Of eye-lid and cheek-bone
By verbal manifestation;
To present the series
Of curious heads in medallion—
He had passed, inconscient, full gaze,
The wide-banded irises
And botticellian sprays implied
In their diastasis;
Which anæsthesis, noted a year late,
And weighed, revealed his great affect, (Orchid), mandate
Of Eros, a retrospect.
. . .
Mouths biting empty air,
The still stone dogs,
Caught in metamorphosis were,
Left him as epilogues.
“THE AGE DEMANDED”
Poem II. Page 10
this agility chance found
Him of all men, unfit
As the red-beaked steeds of
The Cytheræan for a chain-bit.
The glow of porcelain
Brought no reforming sense
To his perception
Of the social inconsequence.
Thus, if her colour
Came against his gaze,
Tempered as if
It were through a perfect glaze
He made no immediate application
Of this to relation of the state
To the individual, the month was more temperate
Because this beauty had been
The coral isle, the lion-coloured sand
Burst in upon the porcelain revery:
Of his imagery.
Mildness, amid the neo-Neitzschean clatter,
His sense of graduations,
Quite out of place amid
Resistance to current exacerbations
Invitation, mere invitation to perceptivity
Gradually led him to the isolation
Which these presents place
Under a more tolerant, perhaps, examination.
By constant elimination
The manifest universe
Yielded an armour
Against utter consternation,
A Minoan undulation,
Seen, we admit, amid ambrosial circumstances
Strengthened him against
The discouraging doctrine of chances
And his desire for survival,
Faint in the most strenuous moods,
Became an Olympian
In the presence of selected perceptions.
A pale gold, in the aforesaid pattern,
The unexpected palms
Destroying, certainly, the artist’s urge,
Left him delighted with the imaginary
Audition of the phantasmal sea-surge,
Incapable of the least utterance or composition,
Emendation, conservation of the “better tradition”,
Refinement of medium, elimination of superfluities,
August attraction or concentration.
Nothing in brief, but maudlin confession
Irresponse to human aggression,
Amid the precipitation, down-float
Of insubstantial manna
Lifting the faint susurrus
Of his subjective hosannah.
Ultimate affronts to human redundancies;
Non-esteem of self-styled “his betters”
Leading, as he well knew,
To his final
Exclusion from the world of letters.
Not knowing, day to day,
The first days end, in the next noon;
The placid water
Unbroken by the Simoon;
Placid beneath warm suns,
Washed in the cobalt of oblivions;
Or through dawn-mist
The grey and rose
Of the juridical
A consciousness disjunct,
Being but this overblotted
Coracle of Pacific voyages,
The unforecasted beach:
Then on an oar Read this:
And I no more exist;
The grand piano
Utters a profane
Protest with her clear soprano.
The sleek head emerges
From the gold-yellow frock
As Anadyomene in the opening
Pages of Reinach.
Honey-red, closing the face-oval
A basket-work of braids which seem as if they were
Spun in King Minos’ hall
From metal, or intractable amber;
The face-oval beneath the glaze,
Bright in its suave bounding-line, as
Beneath half-watt rays
The eyes turn topaz.
Hugh Selwyn Mauberly