[Milton-L] Poem of the Day: Destruction

Bryson, Michael E michael.bryson at csun.edu
Wed Apr 9 13:15:48 EDT 2014

In response to Baudelaire, a much much less accomplished poet (a scribbler, really):

We line the newest students up in rows,
Turn pages all at once, for unity
Reflects, and yet instills, the orderly
And orthodox perspectives we require,

Prevents them ever asking certain questions—
Blind alleys for the blind who know not truth,
Tradition’s voice, Augustine’s words, and God:
How might they read our poet otherwise?

Foul heresies might creep into the fold,
Abandoned to their sin, their fallen souls,
Refusing still to worship as we know
Our poet did, imaginary kings.

A revolutionary? So some say,
But we define his limits, and his life.

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of cbartonphd1 [cbartonphd1 at verizon.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:16 AM
Subject: [Milton-L] Poem of the Day: Destruction

In the context of the past few days' discussions,  I find this apropos

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®III

-------- Original message --------
From: Poetry Foundation
Date:04/09/2014 10:00 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Subject: Poem of the Day: Destruction

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4 / 9 / 2014

Poem of the Day: Destruction<http://thepoetryfoundation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xnltut-tltuwthtt-i/>
by Charles Baudelaire
At my side the Demon writhes forever,
Swimming around me like impalpable air;
As I breathe, he burns my lungs like fever
And fills me with an eternal guilty desire.

Knowing my love of Art, he snares my senses,
Apearing in woman's most seductive forms,
And, under the sneak's plausible pretenses,
Lips grow accustomed to his lewd love-charms.

He leads me thus, far from the sight of God,
Panting and broken with fatigue into
The wilderness of Ennui, deserted and broad,

And into my bewildered eyes he throws
Visions of festering wounds and filthy clothes,
And all Destruction's bloody retinue.

Charles Baudelaire

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