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Prelude


ISSUE:  Summer 1931

I

Poor fool, deluded toy, brief anthropomorph,
You who depend at center of your web,
Thinking the web projected from yourself,
With all its silver spokes and drops of dew,
Its antic flies and frantic wings, and such,—
Consider now if you yourself are not
Created by the web; the spokes and dewdrops,
The flies and wings, gigantic web of the world:
This whirling wheel, concentring on itself,
Produced and sought you; you yourself, poor spider,
Dreamed of by chaos and of chaos born.

II

Poor fool, sad anthropomorph, give up this notion
Centrifugal; perpend awhile, instead,
The world centripetal, and see yourself
As the last comer in this world of shapes.
You dream the world? Alas, the world dreamed you.
And you but give it back, distorted much
By the poor brain-digestion, which you call
Intelligence, or vision, or the truth.

III

Here’s morning, with its flooding of the world,
Not what the evening was; and here is evening
Come with its multitude of golden flies,
Which is not as the morning was; and here
Is noon, which is not either. And for each
You meditate profoundly. This is morning?
All hail to selfhood, who is come refreshed
From nightlong dark digestion of the things
He trapped from chaos of the yesterday.
And here is noon, and rest; and here is evening,
With all those golden flies which yet remain 
For conquest by the cunning. Self is good: 
He shapes the world as should be. He is wise: 
He understands the world as food. He spins 
The broken rim anew, and calls it good.

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