Page:Some soldier poets.djvu/100

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and turns his work into a scientific document about how he once felt, which possibly has very little interest for science.

The effect of this mistake is clearly seen in the triviality and poverty of many Imagist poems. But Nature takes no notice of creeds and sects and nicknames, and has given Richard Aldington such love of beauty as amounts almost to passion, and to H. D., his wife and compeer, such passion as must create beauty, despite no matter what crippling theory. There is, of course, no such thing as legitimate or illegitimate among æsthetic means and forms. Success in fulfilling its own nature is the sole criterion by which a poem should be judged. This happy couple are scholars as well as poets, and have contributed excellent work to The Poets' Translation Series.

A lover of beauty is hurt every day in London, where ruthless commercialism has produced a hell almost as dreadful as that created by ruthless militarism in Flanders. Such a man feels and resents a nameless hostility, yet he may deem it a kind of desertion to take refuge in dreams of old Italy and ancient Greece. He wishes to be loyal to his own day even if it can only be by enlarging on his sufferings.


Iron hoofs, iron wheels, iron din
Of drays and trams and feet passing;
Beaten to a vast mad cacophony.

In vain the shrill, far cry
Of swallows sweeping by:
In vain the silence and green
Of meadows Apriline;
In vain the clear white rain—

  1. Images. Richard Aldington. The Poetry Bookshop.