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The Simple Line Analysis



Author: poem of Laura Riding Type: poem Views: 11

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The secrets of the mind convene splendidly,

Though the mind is meek.

To be aware inwardly

of brain and beauty

Is dark too recognizable.

Thought looking out on thought

Makes one an eye:

Which it shall be, both decide.

One is with the mind alone,

The other is with other thoughts gone

To be seen from afar and not known.



When openly these inmost sights

Flash and speak fully,

Each head at home shakes hopelessly

Of being never ready to see self

And sees a universe too soon.

The immense surmise swims round and round

And heads grow wise

With their own bigness beatified

In cosmos, and the idiot size

Of skulls spells Nature on the ground,

While ears listening the wrong way report

Echoes first and hear words before sounds

Because the mind, being quiet, seems late.

By ears words are copied into books,

By letters minds are taught self-ignorance.

From mouths spring forth vocabularies

To the assemblage of strange objects

Grown foreign to the faithful countryside

Of one king, poverty,

Of one line, humbleness.

Unavowed and false horizons claim pride

For spaces in the head

The native head sees outside.

The flood of wonder rushing from the eyes

Returns lesson by lesson.

The mind, shrunken of time,

Overflows too soon.

The complete vision is the same

As when the world-wideness began

Worlds to describe

The excessiveness of man.



But man's right portion rejects

The surplus in the whole.

This much, made secret first,

Now makes

The knowable, which was

Thought's previous flesh,

And gives instruction of substance to its intelligence

As far as flesh itself,

As bodies upon themselves to where

Understanding is the head

And the identity of breath and breathing are established

And the voice opening to cry: I know,

Closes around the entire declaration

With this evidence of immortality—

The total silence to say:

I am dead.



For death is all ugly, all lovely,

Forbids mysteries to make

Science of splendor, or any separate disclosing

Of beauty to the mind out of body's book

That page by page flutters a world in fragments,

Permits no scribbling in of more

Where spaces are,

Only to look.



Body as Body lies more than still.

The rest seems nothing and nothing is

If nothing need be.

But if need be,

Thought not divided anyway

Answers itself, thinking

All open and everything.

Dead is the mind that parted each head.

But now the secrets of the mind convene

Without pride, without pain

To any onlookers.

What they ordain alone

Cannot be known

The ordinary way of eyes and ears

But only prophesied

If an unnatural mind, refusing to divide,

Dies immediately

Of too plain beauty

Foreseen within too suddenly,

And lips break open of astonishment

Upon the living mouth and rehearse

Death, that seems a simple verse

And, of all ways to know,

Dead or alive, easiest.






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