Le Maudit

By Richard Aldington 1892–1962 Richard Aldington
Women’s tears are but water;
The tears of men are blood.

He sits alone in the firelight
And on either side drifts by
Sleep, like a torrent whirling,
Profound, wrinkled and dumb.

Circuitously, stealthily,
Dawn occupies the city;
As if the seasons knew of his grief
Spring has suddenly changed into snow

Disaster and sorrow
Have made him their pet;
He cannot escape their accursed embraces.
For all his dodgings
Memory will lacerate him.

What good does it do to wander
Nights hours through city streets?
Only that in poor places
He can be with common men
And receive their unspoken
Instinctive sympathy.

What has life done for him?
He stands alone in the darkness
Like a sentry never relieved,
Looking over a barren space,
Awaiting the tardy finish.

from Coterie, 1920

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Poet Richard Aldington 1892–1962

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Social Commentaries, Class, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Richard  Aldington

Biography

Richard Aldington was prominent in several literary capacities; most notably as a founding poet of the Imagist movement and as a novelist who conveyed the horror of World War I through his written works. He was also a prolific critic, translator, and essayist. Though he considered his novels to be his most important works, he received much critical attention for his biographies of such contemporaries as Lawrence of Arabia and D. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Class, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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