Upon the Power of Certain Ideas
Now as the fulcrum holds, the forces come to bear,
The world obeys that rigorous conception
Which, having chosen out its sayer,
Shall bend the very axes of perception.
As in a martial art the body takes the print
Of some deep principle of torque and chih,
And in the stress of tournament
Exacts an excellence of purity,
Compelling both contender and antagonist
To trace the ancient pattern of a dance
Whose subtle leverage and twist
Wrung from the flesh of apes the human stance.
From April Wind, © 1991. Reprinted by
permission of University Press of Virginia.