adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Depart, my book

My latest book, the novel SHAPER, is officially out on Monday, Dec 5. Here is a rather tongue-in-cheek poem by James Branch Cabell (from 'Chivalry') about turning a book over to its readers.

Depart, depart, my book! and live and die
Dependent on the idle fantasy
Of men who cannot view you, quite, as I.

For I am fond, and willingly mistake
My book to be the book I meant to make,
And cannot judge you, for that phantom's sake.

Yet pardon me if I have wrought too ill
In making you, that never spared the will
To shape you perfectly, and lacked the skill.

Ah, had I but the power, my book, then I
Had wrought in you some wizardry so high
That no man but had listened...!

.                                        They pass by,
And shrug—as we, who know that unto us
It has been granted never to fare thus,
And never to be strong and glorious.

Is it denied me to perpetuate
What so much loving labor did create?—
I hear Oblivion tap upon the gate,
And acquiesce, not all disconsolate.

For I have got such recompense
Of that high-hearted excellence
Which the contented craftsman knows,
Alone, that to loved labor goes,
And daily doth the work he chose,
And counts all else impertinence!

James Branch Cabel

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