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THE WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION', by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: When I consider the children of the middle class
Last Line: These relentless present children of the middle class
Subject(s): Life

When I consider the children of the middle class
as representatives of phenomena to my subject sense
I can hardly see them at all, they fade
into the shrubbery, of which a superabundance
is sui generis their world. I am likely to be overwhelmed,
or distracted, leaning my mind on some green bosom.
But then they are things-in-themselves, these children,
and their glee is a thing-in-itself, their exuberance
as they terrorize one another, wiping themselves out
in a continuum of destruction, themselves
as surrogates of parents. But the parents remain
representations, never things-in-themselves, but only
shadow-figures taking out the garbage; and thus
the Will of Schopenhauer's essay leaps out at me
in children-in-themselves, starker than stones or stars,
so that I cower; for the future is theirs, day by day
they remove it from the plastic wrap of non-being,
and leave it on the death-strewn lawns. Yes, if will
is all we know of ourselves as things, and thence
of all things, how can I not infer a radical divergence
of degree between everything else and children? The spirea
dies, the little nebulae of viburnum wink out in willing
whatness, but the children's shrieks of bliss and triumph
are merciless, raging from another world, another time,
so that all understanding is blocked and thrust back
as mere knowledge, odious data, nauseating demonstrations,
these relentless present children of the middle class.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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