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Winter Dream poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


Oh wind-swept towers,

Oh endlessly blossoming trees,

White clouds and lucid eyes,

And pools in the rocks whose unplumbed blue is pregnant

With who knows what of subtlety

And magical curves and limbs–

White Anadyomene and her shallow breasts

Mother-of-pearled with light.

And oh the April, April of straight soft hair,

Falling smooth as the mountain water and brown;

The April of little leaves unblinded,

Of rosy nipples and innocence

And the blue languor of weary eyelids.

Across a huge gulf I fling my voice

And my desires together:

Across a huge gulf … on the other bank

Crouches April with her hair as smooth and straight and brown

As falling waters.

Oh brave curve upwards and outwards.

Oh despair of the downward tilting–

Despair still beautiful

As a great star one has watched all night

Wheeling down under the hills.

Silence widens and darkens;

Voice and desires have dropped out of sight.

I am all alone, dreaming she would come and kiss me.

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Waking poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


Darkness had stretched its colour,

Deep blue across the pane:

No cloud to make night duller,

No moon with its tarnish stain;

But only here and there a star,

One sharp point of frosty fire,

Hanging infinitely far

In mockery of our life and death

And all our small desire.

Now in this hour of waking

From under brows of stone,

A new pale day is breaking

And the deep night is gone.

Sordid now, and mean and small

The daylight world is seen again,

With only the veils of mist that fall

Deaf and muffling over all

To hide its ugliness and pain.

But to-day this dawn of meanness

Shines in my eyes, as when

The new world’s brightness and cleanness

Broke on the first of men.

For the light that shows the huddled things

Of this close-pressing earth,

Shines also on your face and brings

All its dear beauty back to me

In a new miracle of birth.

I see you asleep and unpassioned,

White-faced in the dusk of your hair–

Your beauty so fleetingly fashioned

That it filled me once with despair

To look on its exquisite transience

And think that our love and thought and laughter

Puff out with the death of our flickering sense,

While we pass ever on and away

Towards some blank hereafter.

But now I am happy, knowing

That swift time is our friend,

And that our love’s passionate glowing,

Though it turn ash in the end,

Is a rose of fire that must blossom its way

Through temporal stuff, nor else could be

More than a nothing. Into day

The boundless spaces of night contract

And in your opening eyes I see

Night born in day, in time eternity.

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Vision poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


I had been sitting alone with books,

Till doubt was a black disease,

When I heard the cheerful shout of rooks

In the bare, prophetic trees.

Bare trees, prophetic of new birth,

You lift your branches clean and free

To be a beacon to the earth,

A flame of wrath for all to see.

And the rooks in the branches laugh and shout

To those that can hear and understand:

“Walk through the gloomy ways of doubt

With the torch of vision in your hand.”

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Valedictory poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


I had remarked–how sharply one observes

When life is disappearing round the curves

Of yet another corner, out of sight!–

I had remarked when it was “good luck” and “good night”

And “a good journey to you,” on her face

Certain enigmas penned in the hieroglyphs

Of that half frown and queer fixed smile and trace

Of clouded thought in those brown eyes,

Always so happily clear of hows and ifs–

My poor bleared mind!–and haunting whys.

There I stood, holding her farewell hand,

(Pressing my life and soul and all

The world to one good-bye, till, small

And smaller pressed, why there I’d stand

Dead when they vanished with the sight of her).

And I saw that she had grown aware,

Queer puzzled face! of other things

Beyond the present and her own young speed,

Of yesterday and what new days might breed

Monstrously when the future brings

A charger with your late-lamented head:

Aware of other people’s lives and will,

Aware, perhaps, aware even of me …

The joyous hope of it! But still

I pitied her; for it was sad to see

A goddess shorn of her divinity.

In the midst of her speed she had made pause,

And doubts with all their threat of claws,

Outstripped till now by her unconsciousness,

Had seized on her; she was proved mortal now.

“Live, only live! For you were meant

Never to know a thought’s distress,

But a long glad astonishment

At the world’s beauty and your own.

The pity of you, goddess, grown

Perplexed and mortal.”

Yet … yet … can it be

That she is aware, perhaps, even of me?

And life recedes, recedes; the curve is bare,

My handkerchief flutters blankly in the air;

And the question rumbles in the void:

Was she aware, was she after all aware?

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Topiary poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


Failing sometimes to understand

Why there are folk whose flesh should seem

Like carrion puffed with noisome steam,

Fly-blown to the eye that looks on it,

Fly-blown to the touch of a hand;

Why there are men without any legs,

Whizzing along on little trollies

With long long arms like apes’:

Failing to see why God the Topiarist

Should train and carve and twist

Men’s bodies into such fantastic shapes:

Yes, failing to see the point of it all, I sometimes wish

That I were a fabulous thing in a fool’s mind,

Or, at the ocean bottom, in a world that is deaf and blind,

Very remote and happy, a great goggling fish.

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The Reef poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


My green aquarium of phantom fish,

Goggling in on me through the misty panes;

My rotting leaves and fields spongy with rains;

My few clear quiet autumn days–I wish

I could leave all, clearness and mistiness;

Sodden or goldenly crystal, all too still.

Yes, and I too rot with the leaves that fill

The hollows in the woods; I am grown less

Than human, listless, aimless as the green

Idiot fishes of my aquarium,

Who loiter down their dim tunnels and come

And look at me and drift away, nought seen

Or understood, but only glazedly

Reflected. Upwards, upwards through the shadows,

Through the lush sponginess of deep-sea meadows

Where hare-lipped monsters batten, let me ply

Winged fins, bursting this matrix dark to find

Jewels and movement, mintage of sunlight

Scattered largely by the profuse wind,

And gulfs of blue brightness, too deep for sight.

Free, newly born, on roads of music and air

Speeding and singing, I shall seek the place

Where all the shining threads of water race,

Drawn in green ropes and foamy meshes. There,

On the red fretted ramparts of a tower

Of coral rooted in the depths, shall break

An endless sequence of joy and speed and power:

Green shall shatter to foam; flake with white flake

Shall create an instant’s shining constellation

Upon the blue; and all the air shall be

Full of a million wings that swift and free

Laugh in the sun, all power and strong elation.

Yes, I shall seek that reef, which is beyond

All isles however magically sleeping

In tideless seas, uncharted and unconned

Save by blind eyes; beyond the laughter and weeping

That brood like a cloud over the lands of men.

Movement, passion of colour and pure wings,

Curving to cut like knives–these are the things

I search for:–passion beyond the ken

Of our foiled violences, and, more swift

Than any blow which man aims against time,

The invulnerable, motion that shall rift

All dimness with the lightning of a rhyme,

Or note, or colour. And the body shall be

Quick as the mind; and will shall find release

From bondage to brute things; and joyously

Soul, will and body, in the strength of triune peace,

Shall live the perfect grace of power unwasted.

And love consummate, marvellously blending

Passion and reverence in a single spring

Of quickening force, till now never yet tasted,

But ever ceaselessly thirsted for, shall crown

The new life with its ageless starry fire.

I go to seek that reef, far down, far down

Below the edge of everyday’s desire,

Beyond the magical islands, where of old

I was content, dreaming, to give the lie

To misery. They were all strong and bold

That thither came; and shall I dare to try?

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The Louse-Hunters poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


(From the French of Rimbaud).

When the child’s forehead, full of torments red,

Cries out for sleep and its pale host of dreams,

His two big sisters come unto his bed,

Having long fingers, tipped with silvery gleams.

They set him at a casement, open wide

On seas of flowers that stir in the blue airs,

And through his curls, all wet with dew, they slide

Those terrible searching finger-tips of theirs.

He hears them breathing, softly, fearfully,

Honey-sweet ruminations, slow respired:

Then a sharp hiss breaks time and melody–

Spittle indrawn, old kisses new-desired.

Down through the perfumed silences he hears

Their eyelids fluttering: long fingers thrill,

Probing a lassitude bedimmed with tears,

While the nails crunch at every louse they kill.

He is drunk with Languor–soft accordion-sigh,

Delirious wine of Love in Idleness;

Longings for tears come welling up and die,

As slow or swift he feels their magical caress.

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The Life Theoretic poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


While I have been fumbling over books

And thinking about God and the Devil and all,

Other young men have been battling with the days

And others have been kissing the beautiful women.

They have brazen faces like battering-rams.

But I who think about books and such–

I crumble to impotent dust before the struggling,

And the women palsy me with fear.

But when it comes to fumbling over books

And thinking about God and the Devil and all,

Why, there I am.

But perhaps the battering-rams are in the right of it,

Perhaps, perhaps … God knows.

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The Flowers poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


Day after day,

At spring’s return,

I watch my flowers, how they burn

Their lives away.

The candle crocus

And daffodil gold

Drink fire of the sunshine–

Quickly cold.

And the proud tulip–

How red he glows!–

Is quenched ere summer

Can kindle the rose.

Purple as the innermost

Core of a sinking flame,

Deep in the leaves the violets smoulder

To the dust whence they came.

Day after day

At spring’s return,

I watch my flowers, how they burn

Their lives away,

Day after day …

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The Elms poem – Aldous Huxley poems | Poetry Monster

A poem by Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)


Fine as the dust of plumy fountains blowing

Across the lanterns of a revelling night,

The tiny leaves of April’s earliest growing

Powder the trees–so vaporously light,

They seem to float, billows of emerald foam

Blown by the South on its bright airy tide,

Seeming less trees than things beatified,

Come from the world of thought which was their home.

For a while only. Rooted strong and fast,

Soon will they lift towards the summer sky

Their mountain-mass of clotted greenery.

Their immaterial season quickly past,

They grow opaque, and therefore needs must die,

Since every earth to earth returns at last.

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