Sunday, October 07, 2018

So Winged, So Vortical

To A Modern Poet
by G. K. Chesterton


Well,
What
about it?

I am sorry
if you have
a green pain
gnawing your brain away.
I suppose
quite a lot of it is
gnawed away
by this time.

I did not give you
a green pain
or even
a grey powder.
It is rather you, so winged, so vortical,
Who give me a pain.

When I have a pain
I never notice
the colour.

But I am very unobservant.
I cannot say
I ever noticed that the pillar-box
was like a baby
skinned alive and screaming.
I have not
a Poet's
Eye
which can see Beauty
everywhere.

Now you mention it,
Of course, the sky
is like a large mouth
shown to a dentist,
and I never noticed
a little thing
like that.

But I can't help wishing
You got more fun out of it;
you seem to have taken
quite a dislike
to things
They seem to make you jump
And double up unexpectedly -

And when you write
like other poets,
on subjects
not entirely
novel,
such as, for instance,
the Sea,
it is mostly about
Sea-sickness.
As you say -
It is the New Movement,
The Emetic Ecstasy.

A relatively rare bit of Chestertonian free verse -- to make fun of free-versifiers, of course. 'Vortical' is a mocking reference to Vorticism, an artistic movement that in poetry is most closely associated with Ezra Pound.

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