background image
white river poems 379
Book Three
About the Destruction of Souls and Selves
... Then fl ush the world in earnest. Let yoursel' gang,
Scour't to the bones, and mak' its marrow holes
Toom as a whistle as they used to be
In days I mind o' ere men fi dged wi' souls,
But naething had forgotten you as yet,
Nor you forgotten it.
-- hugh macdiarmid,
prayer for a second flood
Is a self
so precious, Piah? I think sometimes
a self is an unnecessary growth, a kind
of wart, at best
harmless, not too unsightly -- irritated
it will grow troublesome, at last maybe malignant.
Or sometimes it is
an instrument, to be rightly proud of,
that works well, is even perhaps attractive and amusing --
or even an article
of some elegance and beauty; to be
dismantled or discarded, though, if it becomes
*Toom is empty, fi dged is moved.