Saturday, May 01, 2010

One's best powers

1) From “The Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thompson (1893)

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat--and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet--
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

2) Saul Bellow, in a letter to Alfred Kazin, (March 25, 1944)

“The rest is a hash, a mishmash for which I deserve to be mercilessly handled. But it’s so hard now to find a way to use one’s best powers. What can be done? Isaac [Rosenfeld] labors with the same difficulty. He has not reached the level where he can thunder. Like myself he is still somewhere in the trees. In the trees one rustles. You know whence thunder comes.”

3) From “Hounds of Love,” by Kate Bush (1985)

It’s in the trees
It’s coming

When I child
running in the night
afraid of what might be
hiding in the dark
hiding in the street
and of what was following me

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