Oct 27 2023

D. H. Lawrence – Song of a Man Who Has Come Through

Published by at 7:16 am under Poetry

Song of a Man Who Has Come Through
by D. H. Lawrence

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


/ Image by Alief vinicius /

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 the following 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 outside 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, pass through 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 >>


D. H. Lawrence, D. H. Lawrence poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry D. H. Lawrence

England (1885 – 1930) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by D. H. Lawrence

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “D. H. Lawrence – Song of a Man Who Has Come Through”

  1. marrobon 27 Oct 2023 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve marveled at this Lawrence poem a few times too.

    Thank you, Ivan it – seems most appropriate for this windy October afternoon.
    Can’t say I fully ‘get it’. except that you clarify the theme of a personal rebirth, enlightenment that DHL must have gone through.

    I believe it was written around the time of his marriage to Frida.
    You may also know that Steve Taylor, spiritual writer & author of “The Calm Center”
    quotes it in the preface and claims that DHL is a spiritual writer who influenced his own (Taylor’s) writing.

    Whatever the meaning, I return to the imagery of angel, wind, chisel, knocking on the door and coming through…like a drowning man resurfacing and finding breath.
    For my money, no other poet stirs the soul in the same way as DHL.

    Think I’ll turn off the world news and re-read ‘Song of a man who has come through” – aloud , this time.

    With thanks and blessings – Maria

  2. Carolon 03 Nov 2023 at 3:53 am

    Thank You Ivan for this DH Lawrence Poem. I was not familiar with it, but I agree
    with Maria that he was a spiritual writer – and in looking at his writing found Pax, a
    poem you published before with mention of cats and the peace of a cat asleep on
    a chair, and your mention of your Kitty Kumbah seeing you through troubled times
    and being your first spiritual teacher.

    Through these troubled times, my two kitties and their peace are a blessing as is
    Poetry Chaikhana. Thank You.

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