A SMALL PART
Yeats was a man of conflicts and no one is quite clear to this day what he was trying to do, what he hoped to make of his own active life and unusual talents. He did not know himself. Sometimes he thought it was his duty to write only for a small community of spiritual aristocrats.
-Gilbert Highet, The Powers of Poetry, Oxford UP, NY, 1960, pp.124-125.
This vast corpus of poetry which
has come along and which has
referred to my conflicts among
other things, conflicts which seem
to have abated, largely, has also
outlined a hundred times just what
my purpose is, what I’m trying to do,
for I do know. This is no exercise in
personal therapy-although it is that too;
this is no message to spiritual aristocrats,
although there may be some who benefit
(the trouble is we don’t know who they are,
nor do they). This poetic architecture, this
labyrinth, this complicated subject: human
beings and society, this corpus of poems which
is really one poem-a life-my life-is playing a small
part in the evolution of a global organization with
a significant part to play in the future of humankind.
5 May 1996