Monday, 25 February 2008

D H Lawrence, poet - part 10

'Pansies' was a precursor for 'Nettles'. But the so-called establishment had other ideas. They objected to 'Pansies'; but not only that, for a 'magistrate' and 'six fat constables' duly seized 13 of D H Larwence's paintings from an exhibition and 'put them in prison'.
It is very hard to believe today, a mere 80 years on, that all this prim and proper propoganda paranoia was going on so soon after ten million (never mind the wounded and brain-damaged) had forfeited their lives in the so-called 'war to end all wars'.
So what was all the fuss about? The paintings were seized because human genitalia were exposed. And yet as Lawrence points out, the preacher preaches 'in the beginning was the word'...and the word for all we know might have been 'arse'. As far as the poems are concerned it couldn't be that the stiff and proper ruling class, with their cold baths and scrubbed-clean minds, had the idea that pansies might be anything other than little blue and yellow flowers, could it?
Here are 3 poems intended to bloom only briefly, hence the title 'Pansies' - but it seems to Poet-in-Residence that they are more than valid today, nearly 80 years on.


The Nemesis that awaits our civilisation
is social insanity
which in the end is always homicidal.

Sanity means the wholeness of the consciousness.
And our society is only part conscious, like an idiot.

If we do not rapidly open all the doors of consciousness
and freshen the putrid little space in which we are cribbed
the sky-blue walls of our unventilated heaven
will be bright red with blood.

Be still!

The only thing to be done, now,
now that the waves of our undoing have begun to strike
on us,
is to contain ourselves.

To keep still, and let the wreckage of ourselves go,
let everything go, as the wave smashes us,
yet keep still, and hold
the tiny grain of something that no wave can wash away,
not even the most massive wave of destiny.

Among all the smashed debris of myself
keep quiet, and wait.
For the word is Resurrection.
And even the sea of seas will have to give up its dead.

Sun in Me

A sun will rise in me,
I shall slowly resurrect,
already the whiteness of false dawn is on my inner ocean.

A sun in me.
And a sun in heaven.
And beyond that, the immense sun behind the sun,
a sun of immense distances, that fold themselves together
within the genitals of living space.
And further, the sun within the atom
which is god in the atom.


P-i-R has used editorial licence concerning the order of the poems - to gain maximum effect.

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