jordan iv


When my ideas were first happy,
They were so shiny, and so keen,
That I sought out quaint words, and trim machines;
My thoughts got top-heavy, covered with curlicues,
Decking the sense, as if it were to sell.
Terms trampled my brain, saying
"Hurry, hurry, pick me!"
I edited everything.
This was irrelevant, and that was dead.
Nothing could seem too rich to clothe the sun
Much less those joys which trample on our head.


Like cigarette smoke into the air
I wove myself into the sense.
But even as I worked, I heard a friend yell,
"What's all this shit? There is
in love a sweetness ready penned:
write that down, and save your breath."

-- after George Herbert, Jordan II