First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Significance

SIGNIFICANCE by ISAAC ROSENBERG

The cunning moment curves its claws Round the body of our curious wish But push a shoulder through its straitened laws Then are you hooked to wriggle like a fish.

Lean in high middle 'twixt two tapering points, Yet rocks and undulations control The agile brain the limber joints The sinews of the soul.

Chaos that coincides, form that refutes all sway, Shapes to the eye quite other to the touch, All twisted things continue to our clay Like added limbs and hair dispreaded overmuch.

And after it draws in its claws The rocks and unquiet sink to a flat ground, Then follow desert-hours, the vacuous pause Till some mad indignation unleashes the hound.

And those flat hours and dead unseeing things Cower and crowd and burrow for us to use Where sundry gapings spurn and preparing wings And O! our hands would use all ere we lose.

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