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History in the Poetry of Roger White

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"A poet's life, any life, is a process of unfolding realization… a responsibility for poetic values, poetry is a way not only of knowing but also of living in the world, straining towards feelings of consciousness in which what is outside is fused with what lies within the self." - Veronica Brady, introduction to South of My Days: A Biography of Judith Wright, , Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1998.

J.B. Priestly once wrote that "the true Shakespearian way of life was to combine a scepticism about everything with a credulity about everything". What one might call this 'modern attitude' of having a theoretical uncertainty about even the surest of statements is, perhaps, "our greatest asset in adapting to our human situation".

In approaching history White began with the assumption that man's social evolution was due to the periodic intervention in human affairs of the creative force of the universe by means of the Founders of the great religions.

White had examined this assumption in the light of the new evidence for this phenomenon provided by the Baha'i Faith. This had been part of his investigation in the late forties and early fifties. White's approach to history was the same as his approach to religion. It was based on the scientific method. What White has to say in his poetic history, expressed over hundreds of poems in several volumes and chapbooks, can be verified, understood, only by individuals capable and willing to assume White's point of view. His views can only be understood and appreciated by those who have studied or are willing to study the history on which they are based.

The element of historical subjectivity that resides in White's poetry is the same that resides in any other domain where the scientific method is applied. What White is saying in the field of religion is not so private, so mystic, so incommunicable as to be beyond scientific method. In exploring White's understanding of history I invite readers to study the historical configurations on which it is based. For, I would argue, it is virtually impossible to appreciate that element of his poetry which deals with history without knowing something about that history.

White's poetry, like the poetry of W.B. Yeats among the poetry of many other poets, is so filled with the people and places he cared about, the beliefs and issues he was involved with as an active publicist of the cause he had identified himself with, that the events of his life seem curiously inevitable, as we find ourselves accepting unreflectively one striking event in his life and his poetry after another.
White and his poetry are part of the tissue, the very warp and weft, of the Bahá'i Faith in the history of its heroic and formative ages.

White's way of writing, of talking, sounded like the way historian of modern poetry David Perkins described Yeats and his poetry: "the actual thoughts of a man at a passionate moment of life.... compelled to speak directly from his personal self, writing of the actual men and women in the actual world and in his own life". With Yeats, White might have also written, as Yeats did in his epigraph to his volume of poetry Responsibilities in 1914: In dreams begin responsibility. White put words down on paper but his moment in history, his society, his milieux speaks through him. One could argue, and White seems to, that once written, once spoken, the poem belongs to those who read it and authorial intention and poetic ambiguities cannot be resolved, although they can be discussed.

The literary interpretations of readers are seen as announcements of who they are and what they believe. Readers shape the poem and are shaped by it. Misinterpretation and distortion by readers are unavoidable, to some extent. At the core of poem after poem, though, is what Mark Turner calls "narrative imagining.... the fundamental instrument of thought". Narrative imagining relies on the readers' capacity to project one story onto another, to organize the story of a life, say, in terms of a journey. The mind of the reader relies on the story to interpret "the simplest quotidian acts to the most complex literary achievements". The mind of the poet relies on the story for a myriad purposes, often unknown to the reader.

Perhaps White was trying, among other things, "to preach some kind of self-effacement to his own self-assertive age". Perhaps humility was not natural to White, or to many of us. Perhaps it was, as he saw it, a mental need without which we would have difficulty seeing the world in its proper light.


In the beginning was the story, the Word - and White leads us back to that story and Word, into a modern-day story and Word: its sacred sites, its archetypes, its culture, its map, its truth and its engagement with moral law. Readers can tap into these eternal stories, find their relationship with them, their meaning, illuminate what endures in life, place the ephemeral in its proper perspective. White hounds us, tantalizes us, haunts us, with his rendition of the Baha'i story. He is often obscure, does not give us a definite shape, leaves us with an urgency in our drive to interpret, an urgency which is often a symptom of our lack of knowing, perhaps even our insecurity. White reminds us of where we are going and why. He gives his readers a range of vehicles to take themselves and their lives seriously. One of the vehicles is history.

In an age when stories come at us until they are filling our eyes to overflowing and coming out of our ears in excess from a print and electronic media, White's 'story', his interpretation of the Baha'i story, has a particular and special significance. His recreation is memory and soul, so unlike the big television blockbusters which recreate history as spectacle, as body, which keep the eyes busy but leave the mind, in the end, amused and vacant. White's re-creations help the Baha'i community define who and what it is. Remembering is a "fragile, heroic enterprise," says former poet laureate Robert Pinsky and poetry can teach us about this enterprise. White is in the front lines of this fragile and heroic enterprise.

The Western 'dreaming' opens, for the Greeks and the Hebrews, on the plains of Troy and in a garden laid out by the very hand of God. And now, after several thousand years, we exist at a vast distance from the psychic universe of these Greek and Hebrew writers. The 'dreaming' that White is dealing with in his poetry is yet another severe historical landscape charged with the ethereal brightness of dramatic Persian mountainscapes, great expanses of naked rock, long green valleys and their rivers and deserts of searing heat, dust and inhospitable emptiness, stone and brick villages and some friendly and agreeable shores. White's poetic places of 'dreaming' also take readers on a journey to Israel, Europe and North America, at least some of the places and people there, where the history of the Baha'i Faith went through its first century. We have come closer to this 'dreaming' than we were, in recent times, to Eden and Troy. There is no anachronism here, no abstruse language, no arbitrary and mythical eschatology. Here is a 'dreaming' which was part of Western history just recently - a story which was lived in just the other day.

The steel of White's genius strikes the flint of history and of our times and gives that 'dreaming' a fresh spark and vitality. White would have agreed with poet and literary critic Sir Philip Sydney who saw poetry as superior in some ways to both philosophy and history, to the essential abstractness of philosophy and the essential concreteness of history. Poetry is free to roam in a vast empire of passion and knowledge which the poet tries to bind together. Like Sydney, White saw poetry as the superior moral teacher. The poet could, by a fitting selection and organization of ideas and incident, achieve a reality more profound than that presented by quotidian experience.

However recent, the Baha'i 'dreaming' can slip into history beyond our reach. It is we who must recover our 'dreaming'. We have to discover our 'story', our stories, and connect them to our everyday lives. White is helpful here. He takes dozens of the stories from the precursors (1743-1843) of the Babi and Baha'i Revelations right up into our own time in the last years of his life (1990-1992) before he was too sick to write - and puts his readers right in the picture. He holds the hands of his readers, sometimes gently, sometimes with an encouragement to 'come-up', sometimes informing us that 'here is your hero', 'here is your soul', 'here is the work', 'this is the spiritual point', though he leaves his readers plenty of room to work it out for themselves. All they need to do is wait and work, follow the path, try not to worry, have faith and Be - be like some or many of the souls, the people, White has given us in his poetry.

White gives us a neighbourhood to journey in for our 'dreaming'. Sometimes the path is too hard to walk on; sometimes on the path our tentative moves will be welcomed and our sure moves rebuffed. But for each of us, the 'dreaming' is particular and we must work out our own narrative vehicles for gaining access to the general sacred order that White gives us on page after page of his poems. But the big 'story', when it strikes, is a metaphysical cyclone because it is particular to the individual, interpreted in a singular context and it surges up within us. Some of the story, the 'dreaming', is erudite, some simple and everyday. White's poetry is, at times, a complex virtuosity and, at other times, the essence of simplicity like the 'story' he is conveying. White provides what Dr. Johnson described in his preface to his edition of Shakespeare, namely, a place for the mind to repose "on the stability of truth".

After the endless products of the mass media, what Johnson might have called "the irregular combinations of fanciful invention... and that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest", White creates for his readers "a golden world superior to the brazen world of reality", - a world with a special kind of optimism, a world with:

The hieroglyphics gouged in air
By an impatient fire-gloved hand
Are given as our library –
We, star-affrighted, gaze to land.


All roads in White's poetic journey converge at one spot: the teachings of Baha'u'llah and His life. Baha'u'llah is not the hero, like Achilles in that Greek 'dreaming', simple and splendid. He is the eternal mystery, the enigma, but His life takes place in a precise historical time and place where the participants are real personages who were born, lived, suffered and died. They happened along 'once upon a time'. This time the physical 'story', the historical account, contains a massive detail compared, say, with the account, the 'dreaming', of the Old Testament or the Iliad or Odyssey. White's stories seem to coalesce out of the primal mist, the clouds, the gold sparks of Babi-Baha'i history going back over two hundred years to, arguably, say, 1793 when Shaykh Ahmad left his home to prepare the way for the Promised One.

White helps us to carry our stories within us, into the world and out of it. In the end it is often not so much that we read White's poems but, rather, that they read us. Sometimes, as George Steiner says of Franz Kafka's works, White's poems "find us blank.". We turn away from his poems as we often turn away from the Revelation, from their potential for enchantment, for exuberance. We turn away from his invitation to explore our 'dreaming'. For in this world of confused alarms our sensory emporiums are so bombarded that the best that is written and thought eludes us as we settle for that which cannot satisfy or appease the hunger.

White's poetry is, of course, more than 'story'. It is both praise and criticism of life, social analysis and psychological diagnosis. It is the expression, the result, of his search for unity. For many writers in the last decades of the twentieth century, this search for unity was constantly frustrated in its narrative, historical and subjective domains with the result that they often reduced history to autobiography and society to their own consciousness. Former and apparent blueprints for social change that many had found in religion or politics became increasingly delusory. As the expressions of social and political unity increased in the world, so too did the expressions of fractured, divisive, violent and anarchic activity increase.

When White started writing poetry the world's population was something less than three billion; when he finished nearly fifty years later that population had become something less than six billion. To document the changes in that half century is not possible in the context of this essay. But White's history, his view of the past, is inseparable from the world he lived in and the changes it went through.

White's poetry is an expression of what for him was "true historical sense", of his existence among countless events and of his definition of history's landmarks, points of reference and its perspectives. In writing his poetry, his history becomes ours if we want to share it with him. Among the multiplicity and immensity of it all White finds & preserves coherence, wholeness and unity. This, too, is our task. For we, too, must mould our historical and personal consciousness, our historical unity. We must make our own story into history, our multiplicities into a oneness, our narrative into a portion of that "mass of billions of local stories" that is universal history. White offers to us a series of synthesizing mechanisms that help bring together history and our lives, the macro and the micro as it is sometimes expressed today.

White would have liked to achieve, as any poet would, what Johnson wrote in his life of the poet Gray: "Images which find a mirror in every mind" and "sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo". Still, he left his mark. He gives us old knowledge, old history, rendered in new ways, the familiar made unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar, as one writer once put it.

Roger White is one of the finest wordsmiths in the Baha'i community to have written in English in recent epochs. If you love literature, history and the Baha'i Faith, I could do no better than suggest you patiently pursue poem after poem of what is an extensive opus and devour, as much as you can, White's delicious instances of wit, wisdom and sheer genius. Hagiographers may indulge in the pleasing task of describing the religion they espouse as it descended from heaven arrayed in its native purity; a more melancholy and at the same time more joyous and intellectually satisfying duty falls upon the poet.

The poet's task, certainly as White sees it, is to discover the inevitable mixture of humanity and ordinariness, vanity and weakness, heroism and virtue, which is associated with the subtle and complex system of action and conviction in the emerging world religion he was part of for nearly half a century. The given moment of history, to White, is something more than a mere circumstance. It is a moment he must seize as a moral, an aesthetic fact. In seizing this fact, the reader is often required by White to do a little digging, exert some intellectual effort, exercise more than a little brain power and imagination. If the reader is not capable of giving something of himself he cannot get from White's poetry the best it has to give him. If that is the case he had better not read White's poetry, for there is no obligation to do so.

White seems to have some of that "inexhaustible ardour for insight" that the poet William Blake evinced and "his sensibilities so heightened that ordinary events were translated into extraordinary ones". The outward creation was certainly, from time to time anyway, a transparent shell through which White beheld the fiery secret of life and its burning ecstasy. It was a secret and an ecstasy that he had seen and experienced, thanks to the teachings of the prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith and His transforming influences. But it was a many-splendoured, many-sided thing. White knew that:

We court a miracle and see the candles fail,
The petals rust. What do our tears avail?

No sword of vengeance cleaves us as we stand,
Our supplication brings no answering shout.
An ant crawls by persistent as our doubt
And in the comprehending hush we understand
Our mediocrity and godliness …

White would have agreed with Jane Austen when she wrote: "Real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing and hardly any women at all." The record of the past has never been easy to render; in some basic ways the content of the social sciences in general is much more complex than the physical sciences and so the telling of history, in or out of poetic form, is a difficult task. It helps to know a great deal and it helps to have thought long and hard about it.

So often it is in vain that with retrospective eye we can conclude a motive from the deed. For character is unstable, life at best only partly explainable and the individual only understandable to a degree. It is not surprising that for many, even the more informed, history still is what it was to Gibbon two and a half centuries ago: "little more that the register of the crimes, the follies and misfortunes of mankind".
--------------GO TO PART 2------------------

Updated 02-26-2012 at 12:32 AM by Ron Price (to do a partial edit of this document)



  1. Ron Price's Avatar
    PART 4:
    PART 4:

    History for White also was, as Gibbon put it much later in that grand work, "a record of the transactions of the past for the instruction of future ages". White knew what the American historian Charles Beard once wrote, that "the writing of history was an act of faith", that the historian, the poet, indeed, all of us, must makes certain assumptions, wind our emotions around these assumptions and proceed through life.

    As far as possible we must ground these assumptions in truth, in fact, but inevitably there is an act of faith involved somewhere in the process. White knew that facts about the past "are no more history", as historian of biography Ira Nadel expressed it in a light and perceptive way, "than butter, eggs and pepper are an omelette". They must be whipped up and played in a special fashion.

    For White the writing of poetry, and his particular take on history, is a 'dance of life', as the Australian poet A.D. Hope once defined the art of poetry. Some pedestrian or not-so-pedestrian person in Baha'i history acquires a fresh new life with a compactness, an economy of language, a concern for things as they really happened, as the nineteenth century historian Leopold von Ranke would have expressed the recording of history.

    White does what Karl Popper advocates in his The Poverty of Historicism. He consciously introduces "a preconceived point of view" into his history and writes "that history which interests" him, but he does not twist the facts until they fit a framework of preconceived ideas, nor does he neglect the facts that do not fit in. Popper says that such an approach, that is the introducing of a preconceived point of view, should be seen as one that begins with a scientific hypothesis. Such a focus of historical interest, Popper emphasizes, is a historical interpretation.

    Of course one should endeavour, as far as possible, to know the facts of history but, as Kant once argued, it is difficult if not impossible to know the facts, the reality, of things. The real use in knowing what happened in history lies in the interpretation of history's facts, its events. The re-creation of a life is one of the most beautiful and difficult tasks a literary artist can perform.

    White gains access to meaning by interpreting events, arranging patterns, making descriptions, by actively engaging in practical rationality. This is what is at the heart of hermeneutics and phenomenology, sub-disciplines in the social sciences that have grown up in the twentieth century and influenced philosophy and sociology among other fields. In the process he brings forth hidden meanings, messages, as it were, from the past and the reader engages in an endless chain of listening and some essential thinking.

    Hermeneutics and phenomenology are both science and art. They aim at the attainment of historically effective consciousness, at a dialogue with the past, with those who lived in that past and those who thought about that past. Understanding is the filter, the door through which thought passes. White attempts to open that door. And in the end he achieves what the art critic and historian Herbert Read said that T.S. Eliot achieved in his poetic opus: an enlargement or intensification of the "very consciousness of the world in which we are vitally involved.". White writes each historical poem from "an exclusive point of view", as Charles Baudelair once said that biographical work must be written from, but also "from a point of view which opens the greatest number of horizons.".

    White attempts to create a narrative, a concept of the Baha'i narrative, which Baha'is can readily identify with. For without this identity time turns into an unsolvable conflict of voices of authority, an antimony. Understanding, to White, is bound and embedded in history and the meaning changes over time according to how it is received and read. Meaning can never be fixed. From his first chapbook in 1947 to his final published work in 1992, White gives his readers slice after slice of history, of his interpretation of a shared memory.

    It is useful for his readers to have read some of God Passes By, Nabil's Narrative or any one of a number of books that explore the history of the Baha'i Faith. A sensitive appreciation of so much of White's poetry depends on some background knowledge of the belief system, the points in time and place that White is coming from, that all Baha'is are coming from.

    With this background the reader can often gain an insight, an understanding of Baha'i history and its teachings that many hours of patient reading of other volumes will not yield.

    Matthew Arnold once wrote that the Greek dramatist Sophocles saw life whole, with its moral and emotional meaning inside it. The modern world, the modern condition, on the other hand acknowledges no publicly accepted moral and emotional Truth, only perspectives toward it. But like Sophocles, White believed in submission to divine law as the fundamental basis for both individual motivation and social cohesion.

    To put it another way, both writers strongly believed that religion should play a very large part in the way society should be organized. Both writers had "a delicate sense of the complexity of experience", a sense of the tension between public interaction and private life and a clarity of vision that came from the world of myth. "Myths were a living body of meaning," for both Sophocles and White, "that illuminated the essential processes of life".

    For each writer, of course, the mythic base is different. Sophocles was, arguably, the last major thinker, certainly the last Greek dramatist of the fifth century BC to see the "need for a law - a divine law - above the state and its holders of power". For both White and Sophocles this mythic base, this common world view or cosmology and its accompanying moral and spiritual system provides the ethos, the overall dramatic context, the external standard, the very structure for something ennobling for the community, something that contributes to its well-being.

    Without this commonality people live with incompatible ends and develop political systems in which the end justifies the means. As Ivanov contests in Koestler's Darkness at Noon: "The principle that the end justifies the means is and remains the only rule of political ethics." Perhaps Ivanov puts the case a little too strongly but we get the drift and it appeals to our skepticism about partisan politics.

    This is partly why White sought to draw his readers away from his personality. Indeed, he was downright embarrassed with the whole notion of drawing attention to himself. This was utterly alien to what he was trying to achieve as an artist, a poet. The voice that spoke in his art was not that of his limited personality but rather of a soul who had identified himself with divine and eternal truth.

    Indeed, "the slightest whisperings of self", the whole pursuit of self-expression was, for White, done in the context of the upturned mirror of his soul in which the light of the will of God and His teachings were reflected - at least that is how he envisaged the process. This process helped produce, over time, White's voice. What underlies White's success, indeed all success in poetry, is voice. It gives us confidence in what he says. It is poetry's decisive factor. It is continuous and accumulates as he writes and as you read.

    for the rest of Part 4 see the next post-------
  2. Ron Price's Avatar
    The rest of Part 4
    Some things in life must be savoured slowly. White's poetic history is one of these. The first poem in White's first major book of poetry Martha begins with a conversational, a casual tone as if the poet were speaking to this famous Baha'i teacher, as if he was writing her a letter:

    Have patience, Martha,

    White is informal but serious as he continues with thirty lines of graphic description which includes his depiction of Martha Root's inner mental state and her motivational matrix in the years after World War 1 when the apocalyptic images ineffaceably etched there –

    the poisoned air
    the towers afire
    the maimed trees
    the human pyre

    sent her "hurtling in exquisite arc/across the blackening sky". And so she did 'hurtle' for the two decades between the wars before she died in Hawaii in 1939. Her life became:

    ...... a solitary warning cry
    against engulfing dark
    and ultimate night.

    The darkness was so great during these inter-war years when millions perished in Stalin's and Hitler's fiery death camps that Martha's efforts, however heroic, are described by White as follows:

    Your eyes were dippers
    used against the fire,

    Apparently insignificant, her efforts, he goes on:

    purchased brief respite
    that on the ramparts might arise
    the legioned guardians of light.

    These "legioned guardians" began to arise in the teaching plans that the Guardian initiated just two years before Martha died so that, by the 1960s, thousands would arise "on the ramparts". By the time White was to write this poem and by the time its first readers would enjoy his succinct and pithy summation of her life there were indeed "legioned guardians of light". White advised Martha, still addressing her in that colloquial and informal tone, to:

    Be patient:
    we may yet ourselves become
    God's gadabouts,
    meteoric, expire
    in conflagrant holy urgency.

    And so in five lines, the last five of White's first poem in his first major book of poetry, White gives his readers a vision, a direction, for their own lives, linked as they were with the greatest Baha'i teacher of that formative age. He was not trying to renew "a decadent civilization", as Ezra Pound had tried to do, and unsuccessfully as he admitted in his epic poem The Cantos, written over more than half a century.

    But there is no doubt that White was trying to play his part, by the time he wrote this poem in the late 1970s, as one among millions of his co-religionists, in the construction of the new world order associated with the Faith he had joined some thirty years before. The part he played, par excellence, was the writing of a long series of statements, a dialectic, a development, a form, which attempted to lead the mind to some conclusion, to some affective condition, a quality of personal being judged by the action it leads to. But the language he used, poetic language, was largely one of indirection and symbolism.

    There is an authenticity here, something behind and beyond the text, beyond the life of Martha as we know it in the extant biographies and histories, beyond and behind the representation or embodiment of Martha Root in the photos of her that are part of our history. White undertakes to reveal a Martha Root who is doing more than looking past the camera into the distance with an air of weighty seriousness, of farsightedness, a look which might strike some viewers as anachronistic or too detached. Indeed there is no visual image consistent with White's written portrait. There are many and whatever image one could find would produce radically different interpretations.

    Even the face of Martha, usually characterized as photographs of faces are by its ability to convey the essence of an individual, her innermost nature and qualities, its seemingly direct portrayal of the individual, of Martha and her life, a vivid representation of the living being who was Martha Root, a truthful picture, a genuine likeness, not just how she looks but what she is, leaves us asking "who is the Martha we look at and how may we know her?" Martha's public persona was, as White notes in the epilogue to this poem, as a dowdy girl, unattractive and unfashionably dressed, some might say plain. But, as White says later in the poem, we "cease to care/whether virtue be photogenic".

    status of the Western media industry. What he projects onto our consciousness is not a photograph, a visual image. If anything it is an idea, a thought, that he foregrounds, not the visual, in the complex configuration that goes to make up Martha Root, the hero. Martha does not fall from hero to star with its concomitant emphasis on the visual. White confirms her heroic status.

    Indeed it may be more accurate to say that White clarifies Root's mythic status. For there is an essential metaphorical nature to Baha'i history, as John Hatcher has described in such a straightforward way in his book The Purpose of Physical Reality. Myth has a multivalent function in this conception of history.

    "To limit an image," writes Eliade, "to the concrete terminology, the physical form, is to mutilate it." In this view of history - and the poetry White writes - based on this history, the reader must be creative, must think, must participate, must transcend the physical and move in a world of abstract thought. He or she must engage in what is often called 'the analogical proces.'. Martha, in a poem like this, "becomes a mirror that reflects insights", as Rollo May once wrote in discussing myth and its function, and her experience gives us "structural undergirding to (our) beliefs".

    To put this another way, physical reality - in this case Martha Root - is a veil that is one remove from the spiritual reality she represents. And we must use our individual judgement and discernment to properly utilize this myth, this metaphor, this spiritual reality, to free us from blind adherence to dogma, to a physical reality and, thus, to participate wisely in the physical reality that is our daily life.

    In another poem, the next one in Another Song, A Letter to Keith, White continues with his colloquial, conversational idiom. We learn a great deal about this attractive Baha'i woman who made an outstanding contribution of service to the Cause and who was the West's first martyr. But this poem is no factual biography, no story of a life. It is a graphic recreation not an impartial account.

    White is a poet with a belief in a compelling vision, a principle, a dogma containing a great emotional and spiritual potency at its source and in its history. White possesses a technical virtuosity and he plots meticulously as he encourages his readers to think for themselves. We see this in his clever and witty poem, his piece of dramatic invention, based on the life of Keith Ransom-Kehler.

    The poem begins by placing the reader right at the heart of the issue White is exploring:

    Why did you do it, Keith,
    And you a looker?
    Not your usual religious dame
    in need of a good dentist
    and a fitted bra.

    In White's response to a letter criticizing his poem's "stereotypical thinking about religious women as rigidly pietistic", women "lacking in pulchritude who seek spiritual consolation as compensation," he says, "No slight was intended to any woman." He continues in that same letter indicating that he sought "to place in the mouth of the narrator of the poem, a fictitious peer of Keith's, a man holding attitudes perhaps typical of his time and place, words of grudging and bewildered admiration for a townswoman of his acquaintance, whose heroic example of authentically experienced faith forces him to reappraise those very prejudices against religious women which he unsuccessfully masks behind an uneasy, heavy-handed humour".

    At the end of the poem Keith's sacrifice causes this anonymous narrator to re-examine his own life orientation:

    I'm bawling,
    me a grown man,
    three sons and a wife in the grave
    and not what you'd call sentimental.
  3. Ron Price's Avatar
    Parts 5 to 7 were lost. I will make an effort at a future time to locate them and post them here.