by T. H. White
Be kind, Helen, I am so tired of thinking;
There are so many difficult corridors of thought,
With equal iron banisters leading back again:
So many stone stairs, Helen, up which I sought
To rediscover the windy sky, and stand, blinking,
In the lost sunlight: as bright as pain,
Helen. I would give almost anything now
Even for pain. If one day down my iron avenues
The tubes and cubes, leading, at last, me right,
Should lose their remorseless patterns and diffuse
Into a kinder symmetry, and show me how
After a white hand pointing Exit, shine the stars at night:
Should I, appreciating the right gesture, fall dead?
I should walk out quietly and stand still
With the air in my hair and my feet in the wet dew,
Eternally motionless, without want, or will,
Not proud any more, Helen, of this poor head:
And I daresay even that's not true.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.