In Durance

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I am homesick after mine own kind,
Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,
But I am homesick after mine own kind.

“These sell our pictures”! Oh well,
They reach me not, touch me some edge or that,
But reach me not and all my life’s become
One flame, that reaches not beyond
My heart’s own hearth,
Or hides among the ashes there for thee.
“Thee”? Oh, “thee” is who cometh first
Out of mine own soul-kin,
For I am homesick after mine own kind
And ordinary people touch me not.
Yea, I am homesick
After mine own kind that know, and feel
And have some breath for beauty and the arts.

Aye, I am wistful for my kin of the spirit
And have none about me save in the shadows
When come they, surging of power, “DAEMON,”
“Quasi KALOUN.” S.T. says, Beauty is most that, a
“calling to the soul.”
Well then, so call they, the swirlers out of the mist
of my soul,
They that come mewards, bearing old magic.

But for all that, I am homesick after mine own kind
And would meet kindred e’en as I am,
Flesh-shrouded bearing the secret.
“All they that with strange sadness”
Have the earth in mockery, and are kind to all,
My fellows, aye I know the glory
Of th’ unbound ones, but ye, that hide
As I hide most the while
And burst forth to the windows only whiles or whiles
For love, or hope, or beauty or for power,
Then smoulder, with the lids half closed
And are untouched by echoes of the world.

Oh ye, my fellows: with the seas between us some be,
Purple and sapphire for the silver shafts
Of sun and spray all shattered at the bows;
Of such a “Veltro” of the vasty deep
As bore my tortoise house scant years agone:
And some the hills hold off,
The little hills to east of us, though here we
Have damp and plain to be our shutting in.

And yet my soul sings “Up!” and we are one.
Yea thou, and Thou, and THOU, and all my kin
To whom my breast and arms are ever warm,
For that I love ye as the wind the trees
That holds their blossoms and their leaves in cure
And calls the utmost singing from the boughs
That ‘thout him, save the aspen, were as dumb
Still shade, and bade no whisper speak the birds of how
“Beyond, beyond, beyond, there lies…”

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Ezra Pound

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One thought on “In Durance

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  1. “Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.” — Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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