William De Witt Snodgrass
After Experience Taught Me ...
After experience taught me that all the ordinary
Surroundings of social life are futile and vain;
I’m going to show you something very
Ugly: someday, it might save your life.
Seeing that none of the things I feared contain
In themselves anything either good or bad
What if you get caught without a knife;
Nothing—even a loop of piano wire;
Excepting only in the effect they had
Upon my mind, I resolved to inquire
Take the first two fingers of this hand;
Fork them out—kind of a “V for Victory”—
Whether there might be something whose discovery
Would grant me supreme, unending happiness.
And jam them into the eyes of your enemy.
You have to do this hard. Very hard. Then press
No virtue can be thought to have priority
Over this endeavor to preserve one’s being.
Both fingers down around the cheekbone
And setting your foot high into the chest
No man can desire to act rightly, to be blessed,
To live rightly, without simultaneously
You must call up every strength you own
And you can rip off the whole facial mask.
Wishing to be, to act, to live. He must ask
First, in other words, to actually exist.
And you, whiner, who wastes your time
Dawdling over the remorseless earth,
What evil, what unspeakable crime
Have you made your life worth?
William De Witt Snodgrass's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (After Experience Taught Me ... by William De Witt Snodgrass )
- Make others do, gajanan mishra
- MY FEELINGS FOR YOU, AMADU KAMARA
- From Gandhiji's Quotes for Gandhi Jayanthi, Dr John Celes
- Seeing, Aparna Chatterjee
- O American Girl, Will You Take With You?, Bijay Kant Dubey
- A Woman in Love, Akhtar Jawad
- Endearing Love, Kwai Chee Low
- The Swing, Kwai Chee Low
- Price, Ashraful Alam Shikder
- Let The King Think, Ashraful Alam Shikder
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