And so – on to the first section:

I

in whom he did not believe

there is escape under this small stone
escape under this iron hood
escape with the skull of the
body of the Lord
escape from the Lord
in whose court
in whose skull
you have foreseen escape
from the circle of prognostication
which is the iron circle of escape
under which
hooded
is the lowered body of the Lord

Well, that’s one part in six over! Unfortunately, as I reread it, I can see that there’s too much semi-digested T.S. Eliot, but what can be done now, now that we seem to accept that the published version of a poem is final and conclusive? A weird conceit, isn’t it – oddly masochistic, really, as though something wishes to preclude us from improvement.

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