Saturday, January 07, 2017



Robert Garioch (1909-1981), "Refusal to Admire the Large and Complicated Works of Man," Complete Poetical Works (Edinburgh: MacDonald Publishers, 1983), p. 191:
The pyramids are not a botched-up job
for all their size; it is a greater pain
to see these monstrous piles of human accuracy
than to have in mind the whole mineral desert.

And oh! the intolerable great mass,
accurate to a thousandth of an inch,
of the thousand-foot, meaningless, Eiffel Tower;
the infinite Seine is easier to contemplate.

Do not mistake me. If I have to travel,
I make use of the precision of great ships,
but without admiration; I avoid this
by pondering the illimitable Ocean.

Centuries of subtle intellects
have filled libraries with exegesis
too huge altogether; it is more feasible
to fathom the works of Almighty God.
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