Article in Arts / Literature / Poetry
"We shall not cease from exploration | And the end of all our exploring | Will be to arrive where we started | And know the place for the first time." T. S. ELIOT
 
 
 

“He Who Will Not When He May, May Not When He Will”



The proverb is English and very old.
Not only Shakespeare but also Chaucer
Might have paused to apply it now and then,
Perhaps even to themselves, hard to say.

Proverbs mean far less today than they did then
Since we are too sophisticated for
Cadences of the ordinary.
We know now they serve propaganda-spittle:

Government mumbles for murder and sex,
Oppression, and hatred as usual.
Not that we understand depravity
Any better than our forebears, we just

Slog through deeper piles on every street corner
Where greed deposits the American
Dream which future explorers will excavate
Pondering what culture could excrete such things.

We have ceased from exploration. Should you care,
Even so, to know the place for the first time,
You will end only where we started —
“He who will not when he may, may not when he will.”
 

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About the Author 

R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

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Readers of bestthinking.com who remain interested in my work after the 12.31.2017 cessation may visit my personal webspace. Here -- EROTROPE by R. Allen Shoaf -- I include poems and essays and works in progress. Readers who would like to see particular pieces posted originally on...

 
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