for Adam Sedia[1]

But why against one poor poet, a hundred men?

                                    “Cyrano de Bergerac”
                                    Edmond Rostand

What dreams do come to distress needful sleep,
to cause me wakeful to take up my pen
and write by Roman candle light[2] of deep
portentous auguries that must needs frighten
vates[3] and seers bound the truth to keep?

Against my will, this fiendish nightmare bid
me mount and, bellicose, courses its night
journey towards a pillar of acrid,
smoth’ring smoke.  It commands me to alight
and witness that which pity ought forbid.

Upon this place of abomination,
Nero’s pleasure dome, I descend to view
diverse sinners in diverse damnation:
foolish, weak, confused, some few evil too;
gruesome aspects lit by conflagration.

Not to the damned but to that fiery light
my eyes attend, transfixed in horror.
For my visage I see, and on my right
and left fellow guildsmen, with mad furor
persecuted for the crime of Word-wright.

If burn we must, poets, then let us blaze
an incendiary light whose brilliance
sights oriel eyes while souls it parlays
into searing burning-bush radiance.
On truth as human torches, let them gaze.

(July, 2019)

[1]Crushed by the Leftist Juggernaut: One Lawyer’s Story,” by Adam Sedia.

[2] Cf. Nero’s Torches.

[3] Cumulatively or alternatively, a divinely inspired prophet, poet or oracle

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

The featured image is “Nero’s Torches” (1876), by Henryk Siemiradzki, and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

Leave a Comment
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Voiced by Amazon Polly