Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

The Poet



THEY tell you the poet is useless and empty the sound of his lyre,
That science has made him a phantom, and thinned to a shadow his fire:
Yet reformer has never demolished a dungeon or den of the foe
But the flame of the soul of a poet pulsated in every blow.
 
They tell you he hinders with tinklings, with gags from an obsolete stage,
The dramas of deed and the worship of Laws in a practical age:
But the deeds of to-day are the children of magical dreams he has sung,
And the Laws are ineffable Fires that from niggardly heaven he wrung!
 
The bosoms of women he sang of are heaving to-day in our maids:
The God that he drew from the Silence our woes or our weariness aids:
Not a maxim has needled through Time, but a poet had feathered its shaft,
Not a law is a boon to the people but he has dictated its draft.
 
And why do we fight for our fellows? For Liberty why do we long?
Because with the core of our nerve-cells are woven the lightnings of song!
For the poet for ages illumined the animal dreams of our sires,
And his Thought-Become-Flesh is the matrix of all our unselfish desires!
 
Yea, why are we fain for the Beautiful? Why should we die for the Right?
Because through the forested æons, in spite of the priests of the Night,
Undeterred by the faggot or cross, uncorrupted by glory or gold,
To our mothers the poet his Vision of Goodness and Beauty has told.
 
When, comrades, we thrill to the message of speaker in highway or hall,
The voice of the poet is reaching the silenter poet in all:
And again, as of old, when the flames are to leap up the turrets of Wrong,
Shall the torch of the New Revolution be lit from the words of a Song

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:36 min read
43 Views

Bernard O'Dowd

Bernard Patrick O'Dowd was an Australian activist, educator, poet, journalist, and author of several law books and poetry books. O'Dowd worked as an assistant-librarian and later Chief Parliamentary Draughtsman in the Supreme Court at Melbourne for 48 years; he was also a co-publisher and writer for the radical paper Tocsin. Bernard O'Dowd lived to age 87. more…

All Bernard O'Dowd poems | Bernard O'Dowd Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Bernard O'Dowd poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Poet" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/4285/the-poet>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    How many sonnets did William Shakespeare wrote during his life?
    • A. 154
    • B. 101
    • C. 2
    • D. 5

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »