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Two Worlds -- Edgar Fawcett

       
(Poem #240) Two Worlds
 A fiery young world, in far voids of sky,
      Called to an old world growing dark and chill:
 "Now that you hear the hour you must die,
      Tell me what mighty memories haunt you still!"

 Then from the old sad world this answer fell:
      "Vast peoples rose and vanished where I swing....
 But all my poor tired soul remembers well
      Are the great songs my poets used to sing!"
-- Edgar Fawcett
Ah, the infinite vanity of the poet. Other poets have expressed similar
sentiments, though none, I think, so extreme; still, Fawcett merely tapped
into the popular sentiment that poets are a higher form of life. Strange
that the notion finds greatest favour among poets <g>.

As for the poem itself, it's certainly not one of the 'great songs'. The
scansion is weak, and the exclamation marks annoying, to name just two of
its flaws. And yet, having outlined what I don't like about it, I'll go on
to say that I do like the poem as a whole. Despite the flaws in the
versification, the central image is a compelling one[1]; indeed, I feel that
the poem is too short to do it justice, and that it'd have benefited from a
fuller exploration of the theme. Whatever Fawcett lacked, it was not scope
of vision.

[1] and certainly one that appeals to the sf fan in me

Biography:

Not a scrap of biographical information could I find - 'American poet' says
the Poet's Corner, and that's about it.

Links:

- For a far better poem on the same theme, see Arthur O'Shaugnessy's 'Ode',
  poem #6

- And because this poem reminds me irresistibly of Leslie Fish's song 'Hope
  Eyrie', here's a link to the lyrics:
    <[broken link] http://gamgee.acad.emich.edu/~roth/SONGS/hopeeyrie.html>
  and for completeness sake, one to the mp3:
    <http://www.prometheus-music.com/audio/hopeeyrie.mp3>

m.

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