which I had tried to quintessentialize, as (I believe) one scarce can do
in rhyme." The desire to "quintessentialize", to head-up an emotion
until it burns white-hot, seems to be an integral part of the modern
temper, and certainly "unrhymed cadence" is unique in its power of
Three of these poems are written in a form which, so far as I know, has
never before been attempted in English. M. Paul Fort is its inventor,
and the results it has yielded to him are most beautiful and
satisfactory. Perhaps it is more suited to the French language than to
English. But I found it the only medium in which these particular poems
could be written. It is a fluid and changing form, now prose, now
verse, and permitting a great variety of treatment.
But the reader will see that I have not entirely abandoned the more
classic English metres. I cannot see why, because certain manners suit
certain emotions and subjects, it should be considered imperative for an
author to employ no others. Schools are for those who can confine
themselves within them. Perhaps it is a weakness in me that I cannot.
In conclusion, I would say that these remarks are in answer to many
questions asked me by people who have happened to read some of these
poems in periodicals. They are not for the purpose of forestalling
criticism, nor of courting it; and they deal, as I said in the
beginning, solely with the question of technique. For the more
important part of the book, the poems must speak for themselves.
May 19, 1914.
Sword Blades and Poppy Seed
The Captured Goddess
The Precinct. Rochester
Sunshine through a Cobwebbed Window
A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.M.
The Coal Picker
The Last Quarter of the Moon
A Tale of Starvation
Fool's Money Bags
The Tree of Scarlet Berries
The Giver of Stars
Epitaph of a Young Poet Who Died Before Having Achieved Success
In Answer to a Request
The Great Adventure of Max Breuck
Sancta Maria, Succurre Miseris
After Hearing a Waltz by Bartok
Clear, with Light, Variable Winds