7.22.2020 – A need of silence

A need of silence
and of stars. Too much is said
too loud. I am dazed.

Adapted from the poetry of William Alexander Percy.

According to Wikipedia, William Alexander Percy (May 14, 1885 – January 21, 1942), was a lawyer, planter, and poet from Greenville, Mississippi. His autobiography Lanterns on the Levee (Knopf 1941) became a bestseller. His father LeRoy Percy was the last United States Senator from Mississippi elected by the legislature.

Mr. Percy had a lot more issues and foibles that could be collected and covered in the average wikipedia article.

He could also write about minds that gain all knowledge but no calm.

Where to put Mr. Percy and his work?

For me I will just read his work and hope for the best I guess.

Just another of the authors you run into when you move south.

Here is the complete poem, “Home” from the collection titled, “In New York.”

I have a need of silence and of stars;
Too much is said too loudly; I am dazed.
The silken sound of whirled infinity
Is lost in voices shouting to be heard.
I once knew men as earnest and less shrill.
An undermeaning that I caught I miss
Among these ears that hear all sounds save silence,
These eyes that see so much but not the sky,
These minds that gain all knowledge but no calm.

If suddenly the desperate music ceased,
Could they return to life? or would they stand
In dancers’ attitudes, puzzled, polite,
And striking vaguely hand on tired hand
For an encore, to fill the ghastly pause?

I do not know. Some rhythm there may be
I cannot hear. But I oh, I must go
Back where the breakers of deep sunlight roll
Across flat fields that love and touch the sky;
Back to the more of earth, the less of man,
Where there is still a plain simplicity,
And friendship, poor in everything but love,
And faith, unwise, unquestioned, but a star.

Soon now the peace of summer will be there
With cloudy fire of myrtles in full bloom;
And, when the marvelous wide evenings come,
Across the molten river one can see
The misty willow-green of Arcady.

And then the summer stars … I will go home.

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