Belief is blind! Bees scream!

I get a metaphysical headache every time I read Yvor Winters. How could anyone not when he constantly writes stuff like this (from Demigod):

I stand here


my brain beaten


white with thudding

blood o

anvil of the gods

Aaaaargh! Or:

To be my own Messiah to the

burning end. Can one endure the

acrid steeping darkness of

the brain, which glitters and is

dissipated? Night, the night is


from The Rows of Cold Trees. I mean, why don’t we all go and spend a long cold time finding huge iron wrenches and clang on frozen lead pipes with them, for fun, like all weekend?! No idea why I have to keep coming back to this stuff. But then he writes stuff like this Song — and you want to walk up to him and say: Give me your life for a week, or take mine. Please.


by Yvor Winters

Where I walk out

to meet you on the

cloth of burning



the goldfinches

leap up about my

feet like angry



quiver like a

heartbeat in the

air and are

no more

Yvor Winters, I read, deprecated emotionality and advocated the application of “rational thought and judgment” to experiences that are the subject of poems. True. No flashing eyes and floating hair on him. And such application – such balance – was a moral imperative for him. Yeek.  Maybe that explains the headaches. 

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

3 thoughts on “Belief is blind! Bees scream!”

  1. I was watching some Judas Priest videos on YouTube the other night. Same sort of occasional compulsion, and perhaps a similar veering between the sublime and the ridiculous.

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