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Hawkes, Jacquetta - Symbols and Speculations - Instruments



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


[In 1648 all ballad singers were arrested and vast numbers of organs, lutes, viols, harpiscons, flutes and theorbos were destroyed.)

The metal dragonfly with clittering wing-
Invisible bow upon invisible string-
Draws long blue notes; a host of grasshoppers,
Hair-sprung, green-elbowed fiddlers, where I pass
Gay minor music spill among the grass.

The high, hasped limb, bright membrane, brittle plate-
All that is many-jointed, ancient, intricate;
The violin-slender waist, the enormous gaze-
Fantastic insect world, no human wit
Had fantasy enough to fashion it.

Yet form recalls form, I see the viol and lute
Their delicacy broken, trampled by a brute.
Thin, splintered wood, the curling silent string
As though an ox had crushed and rendered mute
Grasshopper, dragonfly, with gross senseless foot.

Soon man must perish of his joylessness
Cleansing earth's flesh of its scabbed consciousness.
Then on frail bodies, unheeded, heedlessly
Gay on a globe where cities turn to grass
This dragonfly will play, and these green grasshoppers.

The source of the experience

Hawkes, Jacquetta

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps