Song of a Man Who Has Come Through

by D. H. Lawrence


Original Language English

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine, wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.

-- from The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, by D. H. Lawrence

<<Previous Poem | More Poems by D. H. Lawrence |


/ Image by AleBonvini /


View All Poems by D. H. Lawrence

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I have always been fascinated by this poem. It is haunting, unsettling, yet, at the same time, hopeful and filled with a sense of wondrous magic in the world.

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!

I love this opening line. Have you ever noticed how wearying personal will is? Eventually everything feels like a dead effort. But when we learn the magician's trick of yielding, of letting the currents of life flow through us, delight pours through us with such surprising ease and actions form into unexpected success.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.


Why this image of the wind becoming like a chisel?

By the fine, fine, wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows...


The wind that moves through the world and through the poet seems to represent spirit or life itself. It makes of the individual a chisel, driving the clear seeing, solid individual ("if only I am keen and hard") into the world to split apart its rigidity and walls, opening the hidden pathways to wondrous lands.

What is the reference to the Hesperides that follows?

The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

The Hesperides is both a sacred garden at the edge of the world and the three nymphs who tend it. Their garden has a tree that produces the golden apples of immortality. The three nymphs are usually associated with night, mystery and magic. They embody all that the imagination envisions at the precipice of existence, the edge of the world, the edge of the night, the edge of life and death. It would take a heroic journey just to reach their garden, but it might open us to wonders.

And if we hear a knocking from something our comfortable known boundaries, the natural reaction is fear.

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.


But the poet tells us to fear not, to welcome the strangers.

No, no, it is the three strange angels.

For they bear wonder and magic and the sweet secret of life.

Admit them, admit them.

When we yield and allow the wind to blow through us, sometimes throwing us against the world, we become stronger, sharper. We find chinks in the walls, hidden spaces. We widen them, travel them, opening new pathways, until, finally, we receive that mysterious visit and the golden apple of the Hesperides.

Have a beautiful day!



Recommended Books: D. H. Lawrence

The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence Birds, Beasts and Flowers: Poems The Selected Poems of D. H. Lawrence Acts of Attention: The Poems of D. H. Lawrence Self & Sequence: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence
More Books >>





Song of a Man Who