Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

The Unbrought Me: Henry James Dearly Suffuses

Thoughtfully he looked at her profile there,

Sensitive in the London air

Pervading the distinguished room.

Something in him began to flutter and loom,

If loom is not too utter a verb.—

Ah, but now the profile did not disturb;

From interior something there was access

Of saving, beseeched for consciousness,

Annulling Valton's unshaped distress.

The lady said: It is not last year.—

Valton said: Ah, the fear

That once abided in such a phrase.

(Has, for you, fear ever abided in a phrase?)

How gratifyingly she said, Your fear does not amaze

Me a whit. Ah no, for where but in a phrase

Should one find fear? Certainly I know, others do elsewhere.

They do not know fear so well, Mr. Valton. No.

—With such assurance we can go

To apprehension that is fair.—

She no longer was a profile. She

At last had seen in Mr. Valton the unsuspected elsewhere,

The uncertain, unbrought me.