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Collected Poems

Not Understood *

Not Understood *

(For the Secret Brotherhood, with a bouquet of ragwort and bracken)

Not understood. We move along asunder,
The mists get thicker as our syntax goes,
And in the fog we marvel and we wonder
That any line we write, in verse or prose,
      Is understood.

Not understood. We bury all our meanings,
And dig them deeper as the years go by,
Indulging thus our obscurantist leanings;
And it will be no wonder if we die
      Not understood.

Not understood. Despondency and madness
Attend us as communications fail;
We poets in our youth begin in gladness,
But end in Paul's or Whitcombe's Christmas sale,
      Not understood.

Not understood. Our tendency is laudable,
Uttering, for elevation of our thought,
In thick sonorous voices, quite inaudible
To the vast multitude; our books unbought,
      Not understood.

Not understood. The reading mob's reaction
To what it does not comprehend is slow,
And gives small hope. But with self-satisfaction
We judge our verses, though they often go
      Not understood.

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Not understood. Poor souls with stunted vision
Oft measure giants by their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derision
Are oft impelled 'gainst us who mould the age,
      Not understood.

Not understood! How many hearts are aching
For poems that are plain, and language terse!
The poetry you write is epoch-making,
Yet, wanting the accomplishment of verse,
      Not understood.

Oh, God! that bards could be a little clearer,
Or write less often when they've nowt to say;
Oh, God! that bards would live a little nearer
To us, and in the light of common day,
      Not under Milk Wood.