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The Progress of the Soul

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Where once I loved my flesh,
That social fellow,
Now I want security of bone
And cherish the silence of my skeleton.

Where once I walked the world
Hunting the devil,
Now I find the darkness and the void
Within my side.

First to be good, then to be happy I
Worked and prayed.
Before the midnight, like the foul fiend,
I killed my dear friend.

Hope unto hope, dream beyond monstrous dream
I sought the world.
Now, at the black pitch and midnight of despair,
I find it was always here.

Thomas McGrath, “The Progress of the Soul” from The Movie at the End of the World: Collected Poems, published by Swallow Press/Ohio University Press. Copyright © 1972 by Thomas McGrath.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Source: The Movie at the End of the World: Collected Poems (Swallow Press, 1972)
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The Progress of the Soul

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