UKArchive ID: 36297

Man Be Not
by ross
Originally published on March 4, 2016 in Poetry    

I would be tickled by the rub that is:
Man be my metaphor.
Dylan Thomas

Man be not my metaphor,
Imprisoned in the twice-told skull.
One impulse crowned; one a blackened space in air.
Masked intents never quite revealed,
Undemocratic pleas fall silent and wonderfully still;
A black shadow cruises beneath a swaying phosphorescence,
Blooming readily on the surface of human moods.
Witness to what cannot speak its name,
Clipped, armed, pulled up, wrapped around,
Facing the grand, inanimate stars.
Boundless dreams that do not address
The naked needs of human flesh,
Unaligned with visions of the spheres,
They swiftly circle corporeal fears.

© ross (Rosco on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 36297
Archived comments for Man Be Not

Mikeverdi on 04-03-2016
Man Be Not
I like this, I'm not sure I get it all. That said, I still like it. Some great lines…the naked needs of human flesh. I'm less sure about 'Audience to what dare not speak it's name' just me I expect, didn't seem to flow.


Author’s Reply:
Thanks. You gave me a good idea for an edit. I'm trying to align with Hardy's vision of the universe as indifferent to human contingencies and the arbitrary nature of late Romantic poetry like Thomas's which situated man at the centre of perceived reality with all the relative experiences of 'light and darkness' that ensue.

pdemitchell on 05-03-2016
Man Be Not
It certainly has the dark energy of Dylan T indeed! I read it aloud several times and noted how the last four lines picked up the rhythm and rhyme scheme but the the last line clogged my tense-furred tongue a tad. Maybe “that circle swift (my) corporeal fears” cements the gravitas. As for Mike's comment maybe the alliterative 'witness' insteand of 'audience' might serve. Crack on, dude! Paul

Author’s Reply:
Good edit. I used 'witness'. Using 'that circle swiftly…' in the last line creates an ambiguous reference to 'spheres' whereas this line is intended to modify 'boundless dreams'. I have tried putting a subject/verb combination in place instead. Even though it doesn't have the same sonic quality as the relative clause, it preserves the intended meaning more precisely. Thanks much, Paul.

Gothicman on 06-03-2016
Man Be Not
Yes, a brilliant write, the suggested alternative word has nailed this poem to perfection. Man's eternal problem of knowing real situations in the juxtaposition of what's presumed to be and what it might be, with no references one can really trust! We are imprisoned within our perceptual abilities even when other unknown factors might be influencing too, a postulation that's doomed to remain at that level, I'm afraid! Perception is never sufficient to explain all our experiences. Much enjoyed at publishing quality.

Author’s Reply:
Thanks very much for the nomination. The suggested edits proved critical. Right you are in the summary. Cheers, Ross.