The Fate of John the Pure of Heart, the “Bright Star”
The world cares not at all for the poet —
Man’s world, that is, for Nature’s loves her, or him,
with a soft love
that is harsh only for the flowering of insight and eloquence:
insight in the sleepless night of a thousand crickets;
eloquence on the stream of laughing waters.
But Man’s world hates the poet.
Even when It professes love, It holds
beneath Its darkish cloak a glinting knife
of jealousy and contempt for all that’s love and loved.
Man’s world is based on commerce not upon the beloved.
Commerce of ego, commerce of contempt, commerce of greed,
that strives even against nature to make a commerce of love.
Love of sky and love of Man
is not the love of so many men.
Their numbers inter the songs of crickets under concrete,
and exhaust the laughter of waters unto a dry parcel.
There is no room in such dungeon of a heart
for ought but festering creep and dank shadow.
Nevertheless, the poet sings still,
and still, by the still waters,
sees in that mirror what makes a heart a heart,
what tells the love of Man to live,
for living is love’s way no matter all this dying.
And for the poet the song is enough,
though he starve and scrape along the streets
or under the dripping eaves
for some bread, some hearth, some idol of a heart.
She smiles when the sounding words flow in like wine,
when they pile up like blossoms under the plum,
while they spin a yarn of thick warmth
for a cloak about his shoulders and
a pair of heavy weather socks upon her feet.
And all mankind is lifted up.
All of love is lifted up.
What is light and life are made to shine.
For all mankind is it done… and never undone.
July 27, 2021
After watching the film “Bright Star,” about
John Keats and Fanny Brawne