General Editor: Marc R. Plamondon

Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO
New poet: Émile Nelligan





"Fire and Sleet and Candlelight"

1For this you've striven
2  Daring, to fail:
3Your sky is riven
4  Like a tearing veil.
5For this, you've wasted
6  Wings of your youth;
7Divined, and tasted
8  Bitter springs of truth.
9From sand unslakèd
10  Twisted strong cords,
11And wandered naked
12  Among trysted swords.
13There's a word unspoken,
14  A knot untied.
15Whatever is broken
16  The earth may hide.
17The road was jagged
18  Over sharp stones:
19Your body's too ragged
20  To cover your bones.
21The wind scatters
22  Tears upon dust;
23Your soul's in tatters
24  Where the spears thrust.
25Your race is ended --
26  See, it is run:
27Nothing is mended
28  Under the sun.
29Straight as an arrow
30  You fall to a sleep
31Not too narrow
32  And not too deep.
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI