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Thoughts On The Shape Of The Human Body

Rupert Brooke 1887 (Rugby) – 1915 (Aegean Sea)




How can we find? how can we rest? how can
We, being gods, win joy, or peace, being man?
We, the gaunt zanies of a witless Fate,
Who love the unloving and lover hate,
Forget the moment ere the moment slips,
Kiss with blind lips that seek beyond the lips,
Who want, and know not what we want, and cry
With crooked mouths for Heaven, and throw it by.
Love's for completeness! No perfection grows
'Twixt leg, and arm, elbow, and ear, and nose,
And joint, and socket; but unsatisfied
Sprawling desires, shapeless, perverse, denied.
Finger with finger wreathes; we love, and gape,
Fantastic shape to mazed fantastic shape,
Straggling, irregular, perplexed, embossed,
Grotesquely twined, extravagantly lost
By crescive paths and strange protuberant ways
From sanity and from wholeness and from grace.
How can love triumph, how can solace be,
Where fever turns toward fever, knee toward knee?
Could we but fill to harmony, and dwell
Simple as our thought and as perfectible,
Rise disentangled from humanity
Strange whole and new into simplicity,
Grow to a radiant round love, and bear
Unfluctuant passion for some perfect sphere,
Love moon to moon unquestioning, and be
Like the star Lunisequa, steadfastly
Following the round clear orb of her delight,
Patiently ever, through the eternal night!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:04 min read
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Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially "The Soldier". more…

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    "Thoughts On The Shape Of The Human Body" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 22 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/33756/thoughts-on-the-shape-of-the-human-body>.

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