Kathleen Henderson Staudt

“The Sagging End and Chapter’s Close":
Revisiting a Long Conversation
Jones’s Poetry

Dedication to The Anathemata, 1952
© Estate of David Jones

     The conference held in Washington D.C. from February 27-March,1, 2009, sought to connect our discussions of David Jones with the broader theme of “Faith, Art, and Poetry in a Post-Christian Culture.” Jones’s work speaks uniquely and originally to this problem, both for his time and for our own. I have been reflecting over the past thirty years on the ways that Jones’s poetry and poetics have shaped my own vision as a scholar and poet who also cares about the persistence of a grounded, open-hearted Christian faith, in an era when the language and practices of that faith are increasingly unintelligible to the surrounding culture.

     I first encountered David Jones’s work when I was a graduate student at Yale, in the heyday of post-structuralist or “deconstructionist” criticism during the late 1970’s. Jacques Derrida was a regular lecturer in those years, Paul de Man was one of my teachers. I participated in lively discussions about the arbitrariness of language, the decadence of “logocentric” approaches to literature, and, most challenging for me, the philosophical challenge to meaning, truth, or artistic intention as categories for literary criticism. In this climate, the language of faith was considered at best outdated and naive, at worst a remnant of western cultural hegemony. I, meanwhile, was newly re-committed to a sacramental and liturgical Christianity, and was struggling to integrate this faith with my love of language and literature and these troubling, compelling discussions. As I read the preface to The Anathemata, I resonated immediately with Jones’s concern for “sign-making” as part of our human identity, and his search for “valid signs.” “The artist deals wholly in signs,” he writes:

His signs must be valid, that is valid for him and, normally, for the culture that has made him. But there is a time factor affecting these signs. If a requisite now-ness is not present, the sign, valid in itself, is apt to suffer a kind of invalidation. This presents most complicated problems to the artist working outside a reasonably static culture-phase. . . . It may be that the kind of thing I have been trying to make is no longer makeable in the kind of way in which I have tried to make it(Ana, 15)i

     Even before I read the poem itself, I thought that Jones’s language about “signs” spoke in striking ways to the critical conversation around me. The post-structuralist critics with whom I was in constant conversation challenged the idea of any "transcendental signified," and spoke of “draining” the signifier of meaning.ii But Jones’s language wants to fill each signifier to overflowing. What appealed to me about Jones then, and what I now believe may be his greatest contribution to what he called “our contemporary situation,” is his focus on how we make meaning in a time where, for better or worse, there is no longer a common cultural or religious language, or where any gestures toward a shared or inherited tradition can be suspect, subject to deconstruction on the one hand and abuse by authoritarian interests on the other.

     So I began to read Jones’s long poem, The Anathemata. And from the opening lines I was hooked, to my complete surprise. Thomas Whitaker, who later became my mentor, included Jones’s work in a class on the modernist long poem -- along with more familiar works such as Eliot’s Four Quartets, William Carlos Williams’s Paterson and Pound’s Cantos. I had never heard of David Jones; I took the course as an auditor, unsure whether the work of this poet I’d never heard of would be worth my time. Most of my classmates found the poem impenetrable and were put off by the footnotes Jones provides to open up "unshared backgrounds," particularly about liturgy, Christian story, and Welsh lore.

     And it must be admitted, it is a challenging text. I agree with Thomas Dilworth that “the principal reason for failure to appreciate the greatness of David Jones is general neglect of The Anathemata.”iii This is truly an unjustly neglected, profoundly original contribution both to modern literature and – most interesting to me -- to the theological and aesthetic issues that confront artists in a post-Christian era. Accordingly, I propose in this essay to walk new and returning readers through some important passages at the beginning of The Anathemata, hoping that by doing so I can help you experience some of its richness and open an understanding of Jones’s broader poetics.

     How should we read this challenging poetry? I remember a colleague who was working on James Joyce when I was beginning my dissertation on Jones. Wanting to access some of what Jones appreciated in Joyce, I was struggling to read Ulysses (and later, Finnegan’s Wake -- probably the more influential of Joyce’s works for David Jones), and asked for advice about where to begin. My friend said, “Just read it: don’t try to understand everything; but read the whole thing through so you can begin to hear how one part resonates with another, etc.”iv This was good advice for Joyce; it’s the same advice that W.H. Auden gave to readers of The Anathemata.v Jones himself directs us to approach the poem “rather as in a longish conversation between two friends, where one thing leads to another; but should a third party hear fragments of it, he might not know how the talk had passed from the cultivation of cabbages to Melchizedek, king of Salem. Though indeed he might guess.” (Ana, 33).

     The Anathemata opens with the celebration of a mass in wartime London, in Latin, by a small group of priests serving a paltry congregation:

We already and first of all discern him making this thing other
His broken syntax, if we attend, already shapes:
          ADSCRIPTAM, RATAM, RATIONABILEM. . . And by pre-application, and for them, under modes and patterns altogether theirs, the holy and venerable hands lift up an efficacious sign. (Ana, 49)
     “An efficacious sign": on my first reading this phrase named something I was looking for, at a time when the surrounding critical discourse was all about language as a somewhat hollow “play of signifiers.” As I read on I responded intuitively to the poem's effort to create a work of art out of a number of "sign-worlds" -- the Latin Mass, Celtic mythology, the history of imperial conquest, especially of the Celts, the syncretisms between Welsh and Arthurian legend, Christian story and northern European fertility myths, and the simultaneous evocation of Christ’s presence in the mass and in the Biblical story of his Crucifixion, recalled and mysteriously enacted in celebrations of Eucharist. Because of my interest both in the arts and in Christian practice, I was available to the pathos of Jones’s description of the priests as “these rear-guard details in their quaint attire, heedless of incongruity, unconscious that the flanks are turned and all connecting files withdrawn or liquidated – that dead symbols litter to the base of the cult-stone. . . " (Ana, 50).

     It was especially poignant to be returning to these lines at our conference in Washington, which was one of the last to be held at the Cathedral College of the National Cathedral. The College closed its doors because of lack of funding just a month after our meeting, and we all knew this ending was coming. And during the conference we were surrounded by the “failing numina” of neo-gothic architecture, some of it in disrepair, in a building soon to be closed. Jones’s vision, in the midst of the Second World War, sees cultural lateness and loss, and yet a deep, creative persistence. Listen to what’s going on here, as he describes the priests at mass:

These, at the sagging end and chapter’s close, standing humbly before the
tables spread, in the apsidal houses, who intend life:
          Between the sterile ornaments
under the pasteboard baldachins
as, in the young-time, in the sap-years:
          between the living floriations
under the leaping arches
     The tone is elegiac, recalling (in language drawn from Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West), a younger, fresher time in culture, the “spring” of western Christendom reflected in the “living floriations” of Gothic architecture.vi Often the music and inner rhyme of his language speak even when it takes several readings to get the sense – as in another early passage, describing the neo-gothic, neo-classical elements of the church’s architecture as frozen, faded echoes of a lost time, and at the same time delighting in the thickness of his own poetic language, describing them.
(Ossific, trussed with ferric rods, the failing numina of column and entablature, the genii of spire and triforium, like great rivals met when all is done, nod recognition across the cramped repeats of their dead selves (Ana, 49)
     The portion that follows is one that often occurs to me in the National Cathedral, when I see tourists watching us curiously as we gather for worship – especially when a noonday Eucharist is going on in the Great Choir, on a crowded Saturday. Comparing the setting to King Pellam’s land, the Waste Land of western folklore, Jones describes the celebrant at mass:
The cult-man stands alone in Pellam’s land: more precariously than he knows he guards the signa: the pontifex among his house-treasures (the twin-urbes his house is) he can fetch things new and old): the tokens, the matrices, the institutes, the ancilia, the fertile ashes—the palladic foreshadowings: the things come down from heaven together with the kept memorials, the things lifted up and the venerated trinkets. (Ana, 50)
     The words carry a double vision: there is the practitioner’s appreciation for the ritual’s sacred significance, together with an awareness of how exotic, even quaint and fussy, the traditions of Christian ritual seem to the surrounding secular culture, dominated by a focus on utility over art, technology over “making.”vii The list of “things” that the priest is offering at the table also corresponds to the many beloved things, “fragments” he calls them, that the poet is gathering together from his particular cultural location and experience, to shape them into a poem. Part of the point in this long poem is for us to watch him at work, doing this – as we watch the priests at work at mass.

     Anathemata means "the things laid up from other things. . . things set up, lifted up, or in any manner offered to the gods" (Ana, 29). Jones gathers up the details of architecture, archaeology, geology, history, ritual that have made up the western tradition, and offers them here, his allusive language and meandering style revealed as participating in a deeper reality, the Christian mystery of a God who has become incarnate in time and place, and joined in the activities of humanity.

     By a few pages into the poem, the poem’s thick, allusive language has already evoked and woven together the celebration of mass in 20th century London, the Last Supper that it evokes, the Crucifixion on Golgotha, and the mystery of the Incarnation, the divine Word “from before all time” who is active, incarnate in these events, whose light shines through from out of time through the creation of the earth itself. Periodically the meanderings settle again onto an evocation of the celebration of mass, as here, at the end of the long excursus through ages and strata of geologic time in “Rite and Fore-time:”

Upon all fore-times
               From before all time
his perpetual light
               shines upon them.
               Upon all at once
upon each one
whom he invites, bids, us to recall
when we make the recalling of him
                    daily, at the Stone. (Ana, 81)
      As I read further in Jones – his first and better known book, In Parenthesis, a brilliant evocation of his experience in the trenches of the Great War – and his later poems, many of them exploring the competing “thought-worlds” of Celtic Wales and Imperial Rome, I learned to navigate his rich and idiosyncratic sign-world. Though my focus was on his poetry, I also learned to recognize this overflow of meanings in his delicately wrought visual art, especially his watercolors. I saw how his instincts as artist and poet came together in painted inscriptions, where the lettering of words was the material, and shape and meaning came together in gratuitous and fascinating ways. But I kept on returning to The Anathemata, to the poem and its preface, and to Jones’s related essay, “Art and Sacrament,” published a few years after The Anathemata. There Jones was addressing my own central question, both as a poet and as a person of faith: can we find language to point to a source of meaning and life that is ultimately beyond all language? His writing addresses these questions and in so doing point the way to an understanding of the artist’s work as a profoundly spiritual practice, connecting us at every moment to a sacred dimension of life.

Art, Sacrament and Life – the Poet’s Spiritual Practice

     Immersed in David Jones's work for all those years, I carry in my consciousness passages from his writing, and especially from his essay on "Art and Sacrament," hailed by Rowan Williams as “one of the most important essays of the twentieth century on art and the sacred.”viii Our uniqueness as human beings, Jones believes, is defined by our being sign-makers – people who want to make things that point beyond themselves to “something other.” “Man is unavoidably a sacramentalist,” he writes “and his works are sacramental in character.” (155) It is interesting that in a poet whose main reputation seems to be for obscurity or erudition, the examples he is most drawn to are very homely, everyday ones.

     In my favorite part of the essay "Art and Sacrament,” David Jones uses the example of the baking of a birthday cake as an example of the "sacramental" quality of all human sign-making. A celebration of Eucharist, he suggests

is something not dissimilar from what you witness in the kitchen where the cook is making a cake patterned with icing-sugar. If the cook should say, 'This is for Susan's birthday--don't you think it a work of art? you may or may not agree with the cook's notion of beauty but you would not be able to deny the 'art'. For leaving aside the art of cooking and the supererogatory art of icing, in so far as the cake is 'made for Susan's birthday' it is 'made over' in some sense. (164)

     I loved this example in the years when my children were small and I was home with them, working when I could on David Jones's work and eventually on my own poetry but also baking cakes, encouraging messy art projects, and delighting in my children’s discoveries and creative moments. I also loved a section of The Anathemata where a group of witches celebrate the earthy womanhood of the Virgin Mary, saying in praise of her: "Who did him rock, who did his swaddlings wring?" (Ana, 214 ) I chuckled over this line during the toddlers-in-diapers stage of my life, a stage of life far from the reclusive Jones’s own experience, but I think very much connected to the sacramental poetic that runs through his work.

     The cake baked for Susan’s birthday, in "Art and Sacrament," affirms a basic insight of all of Jones’s work: that this desire to "shape something" is essential to our human identity and dignity, and testifies to our connection with God. I wrote my book on David Jones over a period of 12 years, while I was also bearing and raising young children and beginning to write poetry myself. I think my particular reading of David Jones, at the time of life when I was reading him most intensely, also alerted me to the profound art that is involved in childrearing, as any parent knows: we are presented with children who are who they are, have identities and personalities of their own, and we know that our influence and example will shape their lives; always we have to struggle, as parents, between the urge to completely push our own agendas and the wonderful uniqueness of our children's particular lives and personalities. Like the artist working on his materials, the parent has to respect the image of God in her child, and serve, not her own agenda, but the process of "making" that shapes this unique, wonderful person whose formation has been entrusted to us.

     Though my own work is utterly different in style and form from Jones’s, I discern his effect on me in my latest volume of poetry, a sequence of poems that tries to capture this sacramental character of the "mothering life" -- without using explicitly theological language. Here is one example of a poem that follows what I’d call a Jonesian aesthetic by noticing how the artist’s work is fundamental to our humanness. The poem is called "Family Dinner"

Family Dinner

I remember weeknights in mid-November,
The fall routine was well in gear.
The station wagon brought us home, through early evening darkness
From choir practice, Girl Scouts, visits with friends

In the small dining room,
Which used to be a bedroom until we changed the house around,
We gathered for meat loaf and baked potatoes.
The light glowed reliably, and everyone was home.

It was dark outside, beyond the windows
The dinner conversation taught us frightening words:
“Assassination.” "Fallout." "Discrimination.”
How did we feel so safe, inside that glow?

Now I am the one behind the wheel
Driving the mini-van out into the dark.
My children wait for me to gather them.
I know their first question will be: What's for dinner?

Traffic is slow. I'm late for this pickup.
I have no dinner menu planned.
I turn off the radio news, with its terror,
Search in my mind: What is there to serve?

What recipe, what artistry
Can shape out of food and a drive through the darkness
Something their words will remember:
Dinner. Family. Home.ix

     The idea for that poem came in 2002, the time of the Washington area sniper and the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks -- and a time when we in Washington lived with a pervasive sense of threat, and of lost trust and meaning happening around us. Writing in such times, any artist is trying to find an island of light, to make a shape out of what we still love and know. Jones, also writing in threatened times, saw in the world around him, especially in the growing influence of what he called "technocracy," a threat to our ability to make signs in ways that can still speak.

     For David Jones, the artist working in twentieth century culture, desiring to write within the traditions of the western Christian culture, is faced with a problem: many of the materials he wants to use -- allusions, connections in etymology or mythology -- are no longer accessible to his readers. There is no common cultural frame of reference that all readers share in the postmodern world, so the poet, making a shape out of the things that have formed him, must find some way to make these things speak to those who have not shared his experience. In a way this is why his own work is difficult to understand on a cursory reading – “it may be, he admits, "that the kind of thing I am trying to make is no longer makeable in the way I have tried to make it." And yet he insists on our persistent identity as “makers,” made in the image of our Maker (to use language offered by his contemporary Dorothy Sayersx). In The Anathemata, he describes the divine logos creating the world as “the Master of Harlequinade, himself not made, maker of sequence and permutation in all things made” (Ana, 63) and the poem implicitly celebrates the humanity of Christ as maker of signs, along with all human “makers of anathemata” (Ana, 90).

     The persistence of human making recurs as a theme throughout Jones’s work, and for him testifies to our identities as creatures with a connection to the divine. Our identity as makers imparts a certain resilience, even in the darkest times. To draw one example from In Parenthesis, the young soldiers coming to the front are described early in the poem as they settle into life at the front. The poet reflects, “They would make order, for however brief a time, and in whatever wilderness" (IP, 24). And when the first shell hits, in that most compelling moment early in In Parenthesis, what is noted is the “unmaking” of what has been constructed – the “exact disposition of small things” shattered by technological warfare:

The exact disposition of small things—the precise shapes of trees, the tilt of a bucket, the movement of a straw, the disappearing right boot of Sergeant Snell – all minute noises, separate and distinct, in a stillness charged through with some approaching violence – registered not by the ear nor any single faculty – an on-rushing perversion, saturating all existence. . . .
     He stood alone on the stones, his mess-tin spilled at his feet. Out of the vortex, rifling the air it came – bright, brass-shod, Pandoran; with all-filling screaming the howling crescendo’s up-piling snapt. The universal world, breath held, one half second, a bludgeoned stillness. Then the pent violence released a consummation of all burstings out; all sudden up-rendings and rivings-through –all taking out of vents – all barrier-breaking—all unmaking, Pernitric begetting – the dissolving and splitting of solid things. (IP, 24)

     Making, making order, making signs – human beings do these things in the face of the “unmaking” that seems to be the primary impuse of a surrounding culture wedded to violence and domination. “In the end,” Jones writes, referring to The Anathemata, “one is trying to make a shape out of the very things of which one is oneself made.” (Ana, 10). I hear there a connection between the artist’s work and the art of living, arts that are practiced in an awareness of the precariousness and radical importance of our “making” to our basic humanity.

Resuming The Long Conversation

     I last spoke publicly on Jones’s work at an international conference in Coventry, England in 1995. There I was already shifting focus, from his poetics to the spirituality that shapes his work, and especially his interest in the importance of the marginalized, the silenced, the indigenous people whose world falls victim to the leveling power of empire and world-commerce. I was interested both in his portrayals of the darkness of his time – and our own—and in the ultimate faith in Resurrection implicit in his work: the Sleeping Arthur under the devastated landscape will return one day, or as Elen Monica puts it in The Anathemata, “what’s under works up.”xi For David Jones, the making of a work of art is an affirmation of life and a resistance to what dehumanizes us. The work of the artist takes us back to God’s dream for creation, and participates in some small way in the constant activity of a Creator whose will is to restore all things to wholeness. In making works of art, we are living out our identity as creatures, made in the image of our Creator.

     But this practice of art is made more difficult in our time because we have no common tradition to draw on that speaks universally to readers of poetry. In my own work as a poet and spiritual director, I repeatedly come up against the distorted and even damaging associations many people now have with a judgmental or authoritarian Christianity. The mystery of the Incarnation, the liberating effect of sacramental life, which Jones’s work over the years conveyed to me so directly once I learned his language, is difficult to communicate in a postmodern, post-Christian era; “we are today so situated,” Jones writes, "that it is pertinent to ask: What for us is patient of being ‘actually loved and known,’ where for us is ‘this place,’ where do we seek or find what is ‘ours,’ what is available, what is valid as material for our effective signs?” (Ana, 25) So Jones writes in the preface to The Anathemata:

If, owing to a complex of causes, sable-hair brushes, Chinese white and hot-pressed water-colour paper went off the market, you would, if you were a user of such commodities, be faced with a situational problem of a very awkward but fundamentally material sort. . . . The whole complex of these difficulties is primarily felt by the sign-maker, the artist, because for him it is an immediate, day by day, factual problem. He has, somehow or other, to lift up valid signs: that is his specific task. . . .
     If the poet writes 'wood,' what are the chances that the Wood of the Cross will be evoked? Should the answer be 'None,' then it would seem that an impoverishment of some sort would have to be admitted. It would mean that that particular word could no longer be used with confidence to implement, to call up or to set in motion a whole world of content belonging in a special sense to the mythus of a particular culture and of concepts and realities belonging to mankind as such. This would be true irrespective of our beliefs or disbeliefs. It would remain true even if we were of the opinion that it was high time that the word 'wood' should be dissociated from the mythus and concepts indicated. The arts abhor any loppings off of meanings or emptyings out, any lessening of the totality of connotation, any loss of recession and thickness through. (Ana, 23-24)

     This problem of the postmodern artist -- the need to find materials that will speak in a culture and civilization that no longer has a common language, and the loss of “recession and thickness” in our materials -– emerges with great intensity in his poem "A,A,A DOMINE DEUS," a poem that David Jones worked at throughout his life, starting in the 1930's and finally published in late 1960's in his last volume of poetry The Sleeping Lord. The title alludes in Latin to the prophet Jeremiah, who feels called to speak for God but feels inadequate: “O my Lord God, he says, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy” (Jeremiah 1:6). Jones here speaks to the bankruptcy of images available for his sacramental vision -– and we hear him testing and rejecting various images from the modern technological landscape, and finding them all inadequate.

A,a,a Domine Deus
          David Jones

I said, Ah! what shall I write?
I enquired up and down.
            (He's tricked me before
with his manifold lurking-places.)
I looked for His symbol at the door.
I have looked for a long while
            at the textures and contours.
I have run a hand over the trivial intersections.
I have journeyed among the dead forms
causation projects from pillar to pylon.
I have tired the eyes of the mind
            regarding the colours and lights.
I have felt for His Wounds
            in nozzles and containers.
I have wondered for the automatic devices.
I have tested the inane patterns
            without prejudice.
I have been on my guard
            not to condemn the unfamiliar
For it is easy to miss Him
            at the turn of a civilization.

    I have watched the wheels go round in case I might see the living creatures like the appearance of lamps, in case I might see the Living God projected from the Machine. I have said to the perfected steel, be my sister and for the glassy towers I thought I felt some beginnings of His creature, but A,a,a, Domine Deus, my hands found the glazed work unrefined and the terrible crystal a stage-paste. . . Eia, Domine Deus.xii

     The poet here is seeking material for his valid signs, and he is continually frustrated. He cannot see the “living God” under the forms of the industrial landscape. What seems an awesome, “terrible crystal” is revealed as tawdry, shallow, inadequate: a stage paste. The sound alone of “nozzles and containers” through which one might evoke the wounds of Christ suggests the inadequacy of the contemporary sign-world to the mystery. And yet Jones’s work does offer a vision of the artist’s situation which speaks to artists and poets in the twenty-first century. In his despair, he cries out to a God who may or may not respond. Yet the gesture toward the divine remains the artist’s gesture. For Jones it is fundamental to our humanity and to our identity as sign-makers. “A sign must be significant of something," he writes in "Art and Sacrament," "hence of some ‘reality,’ so of something 'good,' so of something that is 'sacred.' That is why I think the notion of sign implies the sacred." (EA, 157). His work shows the continuity of that gesture of sign-making even in an era that is “very dark.” This persistence, at what he sees as the “sagging end and chapter’s close” of western Christian culture (Ana, 49) is what he models for artists who seek to tap the deepest vitality of the Christian sacramental tradition, even in an era where “dead symbols litter to the base of the cult-stone” (Ana, 50).

     It is easy to miss him -- the living God -- at the turn of a civilization -- but Jones demonstrates in his practice and his works how the “man the artist” keeps looking -- keeps trying to make connections and signs that celebrate humanity’s relationship to the culture and the stories that have formed us, and the Maker who made us and invites us to carry on the activity of creation. So with the priest at mass, and like Christ the logos made flesh at the Last Supper, the poet participates in the primal and ongoing act of making that is celebrated in the closing lines of The Anathemata:

He does what is done in many places
What he does other
               he does after the mode
of what has always been done.
What did he do other
               recumbent at the garnished supper?
What did he do yet other
               riding the Axile Tree? (Ana, 243)


i. The Anathemata: Fragments of an Attempted Writing (London: Faber & Faber, 1952, 15. Hereafter referenced as Ana.

ii. Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” in The Structuralist Controversy, ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato, 242-272. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972).

iii. Thomas Dilworth, Reading David Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008), 116.

iv. Conversation with David Damrosch, probably in 1979.

v. W.H. Auden, “A Contemporary Epic,” Encounter 2, No.2 (1954), 67-71.

vi. See my more extensive discussions of Spengler and Jones in At the Turn of a Civilisation: David Jones and Modern Poetics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994) and “The Decline of the West and the Optimism of the Saints: David Jones’s Annotations to Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West," in David Jones: Man and Poet, ed. John Mathias, (Orono,ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1989).

vii. See Jones, “Art and Sacrament” and “The Utile: A Note to ‘Art and Sacrament,'” in Epoch and Artist (London: Faber, 1959), pp. 143-185, and my fuller discussion of this essay in At the Turn of a Civilisation, pp. 39-49.

viii. Rowan Williams, Grace and Necessity (London, Continuum; New York: Morehouse, 2005), 88.

ix. In Waving Back:Poems of Mothering Life (Finishing Line Press, 2009), 6.

x. Dorothy Sayers, “The Mind of the Maker.”

xi. See my essay “What’s Under Works Up: The Prophetic Modernism of David Jones,” in David Jones: Artist and Poet, ed. Paul Hills, Warwick Studies in the European Humanities (Scolar Press, 1997), 158-171.

xii. An early version of this poem appears at the end of “Art and Sacrament,” in Epoch and Artist, p.179. The final version, quoted here, is from The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments (London: Faber & Faber, 1974).