Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. WHO WILL LEARN FREEDOM?, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. WHO WILL LEARN FREEDOM?, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Who will learn freedom?
Last Line: You were my christ to me.
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


WHO will learn Freedom?
Lo! as the air blows wafting the clinging aromatic scent of the balsam
poplar, dear to me,
Or the sun-warm fragrance of wallflowers, tarrying here for a moment, then
floating far down the road and away;
Or as the early light edging the hills, so calm, unprejudiced, open to all;

So shall you find what you seek in men and women—your passage and
swift deliverance.

As when one opens a door after long confinement in the house—so out of
your own plans and purposes escaping,
Out of the many mirror-lined chambers of self (grand though they be, but O
how dreary!) in which you have hitherto spent your life—
In these behold once more the incommunicable freedom of the sky, the green
hills, the woods and the waters,
To pass in and out for ever, having abandoned your own objects, looking
calmly upon them, as though they did not exist.
Now who so despised and lost, but what shall be my Savior?
Is there one yet sick and suffering in the whole world? or deformed,
condemned, degraded?
Thither hastening I am at rest—for this one can absolve me.
O I am greedy of love—all all are beautiful to me!
You my deliverers every one—from death, from sin, from evil—
I float, I dissolve in you!

O bars of self you cannot shut me now.
O frailest child, O blackest criminal,
Whoe'er you are I never can repay you—though the world despise you,
you are glorious to me;
For you have saved me from myself,
You delivered me when I was in prison—
I passed through you into heaven,
You were my Christ to me.





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