I found myself in a great town –
White stone and vehement light –
Ten times as strong as any light I knew,
Had the blue-white colour of the moon.
I walked the white gigantic street and came
To a market place;
Crowds moved and clustered but seemed lost and
As if dissolving in a vast white bowl;
Someone who stood
On a wide flight of steps spoke to the multitude;
I could not hear,
I had not yet got used to their great spaces,
And slowly, sidling, I climbed up the stair.
‘Simplicity is crudeness.’
The words fell towards a thousand upturned faces
Blue-white and luminous.
Again I heard ‘To simplify is feebleness.’
‘And yet,’ said I, ‘how can one lift or hold
Such a many-parcelled load?’
Not as if answering me
But testing truth, said slowly with slight stress,
‘To simplify is always feebleness.’
That final ‘s’
Ran on beside my ear from dream to waking –
A sound as if one delicately squashed
The little empty shell of a small bird’s egg.
I was awake
And I was staring straight
Into the round white face of the full moon.
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