Poet-in-Residence has explored the natural world of D H Lawrence the poet. In earlier posts there were poems about a poisonous snake, a baby tortoise, a bat flying around a room. The bat poem is P-i-R's favourite nature poem from Lawrence. The bat poem demonstrates how animals and humans not only see things differently but perceive things differently from their different and unique standpoints.
In the poem that follows Lawrence turns his attention to the most dangerous beast on the planet - the human animal.
When I am clothed I am a moral man,
and unclothed, the word has no meaning for me.
When I put on my coat, my coat has pockets
and in the pockets are things I require,
so I wish no man to pick my pocket
and I will pick the pocket of no man.
A man's business is one of his pockets, his bank account too
his credit, his name, his wife even may be just another of his
And I loathe the thought of being a pilferer
That is why business seems to me despicable,
and most love-affairs, just sneak-thief-pocket-picking
of dressed-up people.
When I stand in my shirt I have no pockets
therefore no morality of pockets;
but still my nakedness is clothed with responsibility
towards those near and dear to me, my very next of kin.
I am not yet alone.
Only when I am stripped stark naked I am alone
and without morals, and without immorality.
The invisible gods have no moral truck with us.
And if stark naked I approach a fellow-man or fellow-woman
they must be naked too,
and none of us must expect morality of each other:
I am that I am, take it or leave it.
Offer me nothing but that which you are, stark and strange.
Let there be no accomodation at this issue.