are all of us guests on this planet
And with guests you know how it is
Some are nice and some are tiresome
And some behave as if they were hosts
and even as they die they believe
that they have owned the sun and the air and the history that took place
even before they were born.
(from Collected Poems)
THE AIM OF AIMS
naive lovers of semantics believe
that if only our leaders
(of all sorts)
could understand the meaning of their own pronouncements
they would amend their ways.
What an illusion!
They - the leaders
know the mechanism of Language much better than all the semanticists,
& logical formalists put together.
It's only that they use their knowledge for their own purposes.
And when a Poet
or a Novelist becomes a demagogue
the same applies to him.
Because POETRY as well as POLITICS may be morally vicious,
and intellectually dishonest.
In such cases both Poetry and Oratory
(political, religious, philosophical)
are like Crime.
The greater a Crime is
the more impressive it is
but the less excusable.
when all is said and done
one finds that no poetic rhymes
and no politic aims
are more important
than decency of means.
Because when all is said and done
decency of means
the aim of aims.
Adler or an Artist seen from one of many possible angles. 1948
Aesop, The Eagle & the Fox, the Fox & the Eagle. 1949
Bayamus (and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry).1949
Wooff Wooff or Who killed Richard Wagner? 1951
Professor Mmaa's Lecture. 1953
The Adventures of Peddy Bottom. 1954
factor T (philosophical essay). 1956
Kurt Schwitters in England.1958
The Bone in the Throat (one-act play). 1959
Cardinal Polatuo. 1961
Semantic Divertissements. 1962
Apollinaire's Lyrical Ideograms. 1968
St Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio (an opera, libretto and music). 1972
Special Branch (a dialogue). 1972
Logic, Labels and Flesh (ten philosophical essays). 1974
On Semantic Poetry. 1975
General Piesc (The Case of the Forgotten Mission).1976
The Chair of Decency (Johan Huizinga Lecture). 1982
The Urge to Create Visions. 1983
The Mystery of the Sardine. 1986
Hobson's Island. 1988
Collected Poems, 1999