The Ecphorizer

Watch Out for Awful Truths in Poetry!
Wes Hight

Issue #51 (November 1985)

"And all they had to strike now was the human face."
-W. H. Auden, "The Diaspora"

Watch out for awful truths in poetry!
Watch out for awful tellers of the truth!
They care not first for fawning nor for couth,
Nor care that you are you, nor I'm me.
Watch out! Watch out! They rake the awful muck
And raise the stench that festers underneath.
They make assaulters gnash their frothing teeth.
They press beyond the counted reach of luck.
One said (I think it was a Huxley said):
"The more you're told a thing ought not be heard,
The more you ought to stress to the absurd
The sound of it!" Speak! — if they strike you dead
For saying it; for all that's civilized
Was once an oppressed thought long vilified.


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