Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel


 

What Now Coheres—Of 1861-1865?

We're closer to the year, a hundred years
Ago, when war began, our Civil War.
As time goes on (or seems) our thoughts are more
Than ever, ever given to those fears,
Those rallyings, those yells, those skies. Appears
Again, the death at less than twenty-four
Of yelling Richard Tingley; with a store
Of other deaths. We ask: What now coheres—

Of all the gone, May 3rd, at Chancellorsville?
Atlanta's speeches, Hood's advance, retreat?
The length of Lincoln, lying known and still?
A picket's bellyache, a bullet neat;
The creeks with hissing shells; a mule named Bill;
The James in sunlight, and one's severed feet?


From THE POEMS LOOKED AT: or, NOTES
What Now Coheres—Of 1861-1865? 1959...How do the years 1861-1865 in America, with their dyings, runnings, and their unknown, cohere? You can use a sonnet to ask a question with. I do this. (Appeared in Today's Japan, 1960.)

 


From Hail, American Development (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel
Aesthetic Realism Online Library Seal
Eli Siegel on Beauty | Biography | Ellen Reiss on Poetry by Eli Siegel
Multicultural Aesthetics | Countering the Lies | US Congressional Record
Home | Aesthetic Realism Foundation | Eli Siegel Collection | Definition Press Books