9. Trumbull Stickney
TS / 1904
From The Soul of Time
Time’s a circumference
Whereof the segment of our station seems
A long straight line from nothing into naught.
Therefore we say “progress,” “infinity” —
Dull words whose object
Hangs in the air of error and delights
Our boyish minds a hunt for butterflies.
For aspiration studies not the sky
But looks for stars
TS / 1905
From I Used to Think
I used to think
The mind essential in the body, even
As stood the body essential in the mind:
Two inseparable things, by nature equal
And similar, and in creation’s song
Halving the total scale: it is not so.
Unlike and cross like driftwood sticks they come
Churned in the giddy trough: a chunk of pine,
A slab of rosewood: mangled each on each
With knocks and friction, or in deadly pain
Sheathing each other’s splinters: till at last
Without all stuff or shape they’re jetted up
Where in the bluish moisture rot whate’er
Was vomited in horror from the sea.