In Memory of the Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn

But the essential advantage for a poet is not, to have a beautiful world with which to deal: it is to be able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the horror, and the glory.
T. S. ELIOT

It was his story. It would always be his story.   
It followed him; it overtook him finally—
The boredom, and the horror, and the glory.

Probably at the end he was not yet sorry,
Even as the boots were brutalizing him in the alley.   
It was his story. It would always be his story,

Blown on a blue horn, full of sound and fury,   
But signifying, O signifying magnificently   
The boredom, and the horror, and the glory.

I picture the snow as falling without hurry
To cover the cobbles and the toppled ashcans completely.   
It was his story. It would always be his story.

Lately he had wandered between St. Mark’s Place and the Bowery,   
Already half a spirit, mumbling and muttering sadly.   
O the boredom, and the horror, and the glory.

All done now. But I remember the fiery
Hypnotic eye and the raised voice blazing with poetry.   
It was his story and would always be his story—
The boredom, and the horror, and the glory.

Donald Justice, “In Memory of the Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn” from New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Donald Justice. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Source: New & Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
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