The Moralists

By Yvor Winters 1900–1968 Yvor Winters
You would extend the mind beyond the act,   
Furious, bending, suffering in thin
And unpoetic dicta; you have been
Forced by hypothesis to fiercer fact.
As metal singing hard, with firmness racked,   
You formulate our passion; and behind   
In some harsh moment nowise of the mind
Lie the old meanings your advance has packed.

No man can hold existence in the head.   
I, too, have known the anguish of the right   
Amid this net of mathematic dearth,
And the brain throbbing like a ship at night:   
Have faced with old unmitigated dread   
The hard familiar wrinkles of the earth.

Yvor Winters, “The Moralists” from The Selected Poems of Yvor Winters, edited by R. L. Barth. Used by permission of Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters (1960)

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Poet Yvor Winters 1900–1968

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Social Commentaries, Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Yvor  Winters

Biography

Allen Tate once commented on Yvor Winters the poet thus: "If he has been neglected—when he has not been ignored—the reasons are not hard to find. He has conducted a poetic revolution all his own that owes little or nothing to the earlier revolution of Pound and Eliot, and that goes back to certain great, likewise neglected Tudor poets for metrical and stylistic models." Winters commented to Contemporary Authors: "Tate is wrong . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Social Commentaries, Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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