Death is Not Evil, Evil is Mechanical


Only the human being, absolved from kissing and strife

goes on and on and on, without wandering

fixed upon the hub of the ego

going, yet never wandering, fixed, yet in motion,

the kind of hell that is real, grey and awful

sinless and stainless going round and round

the kind of hell grey Dante never saw

but of which he had a bit inside him.

Know thyself, and that thou art mortal.

But know thyself, denying that thou art mortal:

a thing of kisses and strife

a lit-up shaft of rain

a calling column of blood

a rose tree bronzey with thorns

a mixture of yea and nay

a rainbow of love and hate

a wind that blows back and forth

a creature of beautiful peace, like a river

and a creature of conflict, like a cataract:

know thyself, in denial of all these things –

And thou shalt begin to spin round on the hub

of the obscene ego

a grey void thing that goes without wandering

a machine that in itself is nothing

a centre of the evil world-soul.


– Death is not evil, evil is mechanical (Taken from D.H. Lawrence, 1972. Ed Keith Sagar. Selected Poems. Penguin Books. P 252).





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