Crapulous Impression

A poem by Aldous Leonard Huxley

(To J.S.)


Still life, still life ... the high-lights shine
Hard and sharp on the bottles: the wine
Stands firmly solid in the glasses,
Smooth yellow ice, through which there passes
The lamp's bright pencil of down-struck light.
The fruits metallically gleam,
Globey in their heaped-up bowl,
And there are faces against the night
Of the outer room - faces that seem
Part of this still, still life ... they've lost their soul.

And amongst these frozen faces you smiled,
Surprised, surprisingly, like a child:
And out of the frozen welter of sound
Your voice came quietly, quietly.
"What about God?" you said. "I have found
Much to be said for Totality.
All, I take it, is God: God's all -
This bottle, for instance ..." I recall,
Dimly, that you took God by the neck -
God-in-the-bottle - and pushed Him across:
But I, without a moment's loss
Moved God-in-the-salt in front and shouted: "Check!"

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