the good man

“God only was his only elegance.”




Blameless the journey,


the destination,

careless the way,

thoughtful wanderer,


of the goodness

of his heart.


“Through centuries he lived in poverty.

God only was his only elegance.

Then generation by generation he grew

Stronger and freer, a little better off.

He lived each life because, if it was bad,

He said a good life would be possible.

At last the good life came, good sleep, bright fruit,

And Lazarus betrayed him to the rest,

Who killed him, sticking feathers in his flesh

To mock him.  They placed with him in his grave

Sour wine to warn him, an empty book to read;

And over it they set a jagged sign,

Epitaphium to his death, which read,

The Good Man Has No Shape, as if they knew.”

The Good Man Has No Shape

Wallace Stevens

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