PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST When it's dark, when it's very dark...
Botticelli's Madonna of The Pomegranate
When it's dark, when it's very dark
close your eyes then--that you may see
by Th'great Impact of Th'Spark
of Man's own Inner Urgency

And then might stand revealed
( to you ) in that One brilliant Spree!
what all the centuries conceal
through blind continuity 31

^{31} What does Man seek (with living)? Never mind the incidentals of any given moment --It is never darker than when all those incidentals are denied: then is it that Man should "close his eyes" to them and try to focus on a more fundamental reason for being. The poem speaks about the very fact that finding (any) a deeper (-seated) 'urgency" for living is discovery enough: That being justified itself ("to be" implies a desperate dedication; perhaps even enough to revel in glorious triumph even from the mere fact that one does not (or, has not) ceased to be --Something I hold as the most fundamental of all living principles: That there is nothing outside Man himself capable of granting him the self-justification he seeks (as that justification he wrings out of his very own Self)). As far as the universe goes, life is a very frail, fragile and, in ordinary experience, quite an unpredictable affair indeed; but as far as each man is concerned, there within him, life is complete, perfect, whole, stable, meaningful and purposeful (because it's self-integrated in the absolute): self-justified.

II, XXXV, XL, XXXVII, and this piece, are mostly moral poems speaking directly to the reader (as opposed to works that offer some objectified lesson, example or analogy, etc.). The progressive thinker has developed a kind of vehemence for any so-called proposition of personal morality raised to a cosmic level (we have more and more accepted the conclusion that there exists no universal morality) which does not seek to trespass beyond human application [see 'utilitarianism']. The problem, of course, is that there are only a limited number of tenets to which most men subscribe (and moral axioms arise from provincial cultural necessities). This is especially touchy in matters of sexual etiquette and personal hygiene in cultures which are in transition towards a more heterogeneous mix (it is often used especially to rationalize racial bigotry)... whereas one would logically expect the emphasis to fall on ethics and theology. [This is only my own expectation, though; which points out that, fundamentally, morality is a personal emotional attitude and not a physically-dictated response.] We do not meet our needs morally, but rather rationalize our cultural differences (morally)... unless you consider the need to feel superior to be justifiable [with the criterion being survival-value]. But political action is the arm of moral tyranny or of the defender of ethics. The only thing one can do to avoid advocating another tyranny is to always voice a warning against the wrong course rather than call for another (just as headlong wrong a) course. There are a number of alternatives [XXXV]. Any art-work is also a moral statement (or even, a commitment) as an object lesson [and all items on the road modify the direction in which we travel on it... or modify some other aspect of our journey]. But we do feel irked by anyone's presumptive, patronizing moral stance! [So ingrained is this feeling that even if it is our own morality someone else is proposing we still cringe.]

Note: I abhor the clumsy practice of sticking an awkward patch of phonic quick-sand in the middle of words just to trap the tongue & hold it under long enough to kill all grace --When a perfectly sound digraph or diphthong may be used as bridge: con-[ti]-nui-ty =2nd syllable accent in a 4-syllable word, rather than= con-ti-[nuu]-i-ty {the 3rd syllable accent in a 5-syllable word} (5) (Good luck!).@