Between the world of knowledge
And the problems of the world,
Between the day of indifference
And the detachment of Enlightenment
is the shadowland.
From justification through Art
To a need for atonement for sin.
From the vision of despair
To the affirmation of life
Is not so far
As from inauthentic existence
To any alternative way.
Between the world of the beautiful people
And the ‘cult’ of clinical concern,
Between the powerless intents of pacifism
And the disillusion of diplomats,
Between grievance demanding revenge
And tolerance of fallibility
Is far enough
To keep us talking interminably
Of the alienation of man.
Between the words I vainly say
And their meaning to another,
Between my most significant gesture
And its interpretation,
Between the intensity of my cry of pain
And the futility of its impact
Lies the division of the world.
Resignation is not enough
And stoicism, an escape to another illusion.
To stretch across the brink
Has some meaning.
And death itself is vindicated
If it opens the way for others
To cross the divide.
October 23rd 1967 [ Just after arriving at Keele University]