Dyad by Richmond Alexander Lattimore

If lead or steel should interrupt
By sleight or driven force the task
Of this red stubborn muscle cupped
Behind the ribs, then, I must ask,

Shall this dead organ labeled dust
Drag in immediate decline
The soul’s self down with it, and must
The inward world that I call mine

Dissolve in powder? Or in pride
Above the gross material
Wrecked under it, shall something ride
Spelled thereby into freedom, shall

The death about the heart unsheathe
A bud within that waits compressed
And blossoms when I cease to breathe?
Shall I make answer? It is best

Where all men’s reasoning is weak
To take the answer that is sent.
What man shall have the right to speak
Who has not dared experiment?

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=45&issue=2&page=13

Date: 1934

By: Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906-1984)

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