Cyclopean

By G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936
A mountainous and mystic brute
No rein can curb, no arrow shoot,
Upon whose doomed deformed back
I sweep the planets’ scorching track.

Old is the elf, and wise, men say,
His hair grows green as ours grows grey;
He mocks the stars with myriad hands,
High as that swinging forest stands.

But though in pigmy wanderings dull
I scour the deserts of his skull,
I never find the face, eyes, teeth,
Lowering or laughing underneath.

I met my foe in an empty dell,
His face in the sun was naked hell.
I thought, ‘One silent, bloody blow,
No priest would curse, no crowd would know.’

Then cowered: a daisy, half concealed,
Watched for the fame of that poor field;
And in that flower and suddenly
Earth opened its one eye on me.

Source: The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton (1927)

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Poet G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Nature

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 G. K. Chesterton

Biography

G. K. Chesterton was one of the dominating figures of the London literary scene in the early twentieth century. Not only did he get into lively discussions with anyone who would debate him, including his friend, frequent verbal sparring partner, and noted Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, but he wrote about seemingly every topic, in every genre, from journalism to plays, poetry to crime novels. "He said something about . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Nature

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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