Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THE WORD DEMOCRACY, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THE WORD DEMOCRACY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Underneath all now comes this word, turning
Last Line: Himself over the earth and launch forth to sail through heaven.
Subject(s): Democracy; Nations; Politics & Government


UNDERNEATH all now comes this Word, turning the edges of the other words
where they meet it.
Politics, art, science, commerce, religion, customs and methods of daily
life, the very outer shows and semblances of ordinary objects—
The rose in the garden, the axe hanging behind the door in the
outhouse—
Their meanings must all now be absorbed and recast in this word, or else
fall off like dry husks before its disclosure.

Do you not see that your individual life is and can only be secured at the
cost of the continual sacrifice of other lives.
And that therefore you can only hold it on condition that you are ready in
your turn to sacrifice it for others?
The law of Indifference which must henceforth be plainly recognised and
acted upon.

Art can now no longer be separated from life;
The old canons fail; her tutelage completed she becomes equivalent to
Nature, and hangs her curtains continuous with the clouds and waterfalls;
Science empties itself out of the books; all that the books have said only
falls like the faintest gauze before the reality—hardly concealing a single
blade of grass, or damaging the light of the tiniest star;
The form of man emerges in all objects, baffling the old classifications
and definitions;
[Beautiful the form of man emerges, the celestial ideal—
The feet pressing the ground, the supple strong ancles and wrists, the
cleave of the loins, the shoulders, and poised head aureoled by the sun;]
The politician turns round upon himself—like the scientist he
acknowledges his brain baffled by the problems; he reaches his hand for help to
the hand of the People;
The commercial man turns round—the firm ground gives way beneath his
feet also; to give now seems better than to get—and what sort of a
trade-motto is that?
All the customs of society change, for all are significant; and the
long-accepted axioms of every day life are dislocated like a hill-side in a
landslip;
The old structures can no longer stand—their very foundations are
shifted—
And men run forth in terror from the old before they can yet find firm
ground for the new.

In all directions gulfs and yawning abysses,
The ground of society cracking, the fire showing through,
The old ties giving way beneath the strain, and the great pent heart
heaving as though it would break—
At the sound of the new word spoken—
At the sound of the word Democracy.

No volcano bursting up through peaceful pastures is a greater revolution
than this;
No vast mountain chain thrown out from ocean depths to form the primitive
streak of a new continent looks further down the future;
For this is lava springing out of the very heart of Man;
This is the upheaval of heaven-kissing summits whose streams shall feed the
farthest generations,
This is the draft and outline of a new creature,
The forming of the wings of Man beneath the outer husk—
The outspread pinions of Equality, whereon arising he shall at last lift
himself over the Earth and launch forth to sail through Heaven.





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