Prokosch, Dr Frederic - Chosen Poems – from Elegy
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
It is the tragi-comedy of the sensitive;
Or rather, the stranglehold of history.
We try to detect the age in which we live
But every night we hear, all day we see
Wild contradictions of every fresh idea;
Stray figures on the boulevard suddenly
Rising out of the twisted fog appear.
Like Aeschylean figures, hurled by a nameless fear.
Now as they pass, a derelict majesty
Sweeps over their features.
No, not quite alone.
Not wholly without meaning,
they too see
Flashes of the wilderness where they have gone-
A highball, a tennis racquet, a telephone,
Each as his tongue or lunacy commands.
They pass with the millions.
Love like a stone
Draws them to earth, and all the Gobi sands,
It seems, run through their skeletons;
flame falls from their hands…………………
Since after all it is vitality only
That gives love meaning and to meaning power,
Forgive the dull, the defeated and the lonely
slowly beginning to cower
As they sit in their deathly fashionable tower,
As they see the pony footed ploughboy pass,
As they scent the awful, microscopic hour
Echoed in steel,
reflected in the glass,
The tread, the threatening shadow in the jungle grass