From In Parenthesis

     On addressing commissioned officers--it was his
     favorite theme.  John Ball stood patiently, waiting for the
     eloquence to spread itself.  The tedious flow continued, then
     broke off very suddenly.  He looked straight at Sergeant Snell
     enquiringly--whose eyes changed quietly, who ducked in
     under the low entry.  John Ball would have followed, but
     stood fixed and alone in the little yard--his senses highly
     alert, his body incapable of movement or response.  The
     exact disposition of small things--the precise shapes of
     trees, the tilt of a bucket, the movement of a straw, the
     disappearing right foot of Sergeant Snell--all minute
     noises, separate and distinct, in a stillness charged through
     with some approaching violence--registered not by the ear
     nor any single faculty--an on-rushing pervasion, saturating
     all existence; with exactitude, logarithmic, dial-timed,
     millesimal--of calculated velocity, some mean chemist's
     contrivance, a stinking physicist's destroying toy.
         He stood alone on the stones, his mess-tin spilled at his
     feet.  Out of the vortex, rifling the air it came--bright,
     brass-shod, Pandoran; with all-filling screaming the howling
     crescendo's up-piling snapt.  The universal world,
     breath held, one half-second, a bludgeoned stillness.  Then
     the pent violence released a consummation of all burstings
     out; all sudden up-rendings and rivings-through--all
     takings-out of vents--all barrier-breaking--all unmaking.
     Pernitric begetting--the dissolving and splitting of solid
     things.  In which unearthing aftermath, John Ball picked up
     his mess-tin and hurried within; ashen, huddled, waited in 
     the dismal straw.  Behind "E" Battery, fifty yards down the
     road, a great many mangolds, uprooted, pulped, congealed
     with chemical earth, spattered and made slippery the rigid
     boards leading to the emplacement.  The sap of vegetables
     slobbered the spotless breech-block of No. 3 gun.

                                                (IP II, 24)

From The Anathemata In the first month in the week of metamorphosis the fifth day past at about the sixth hour after the dusk of it towards the ebb time in the median silences for a second time again in the middle night-course he girds himself. Within doors, attended with lamps lighted. No hill-pastores lauding for Burning Babe for Shepherd-Bearer. Nor now far-duces star-night nor swaddlings now: His praetexta is long since cast, Is it the tinctured picta he puts on? Yes, and the flowered palmata by anticipation: this is 'his own rainment'. Not Lalla, Lalla, lallla not rockings now nor clovered breath for the health of him as under the straw'd crucks that baldachin'd in star-lit town where he was born, the maid's fair cave his dwelling. (Anathemata, 193f)

From Epoch and Artist

"A man can not only smell roses (some beasts may do that, for lavender is said to be appreciated in the Lion House) but he can and does and ought to pluck roses and he can predicate of roses such and such. He can make a signum of roses. He can make attar of roses. He can garland them and make anathemata of them. Which is, presumably, the kind of thing he is meant to do. Anyway, there's no one else can do it. Angels can't nor can the beasts. No wonder then that Theology regards the body as a unique good. Without body: without sacrament. Angels only: no sacrament. Beasts only: no sacrament. Man: sacrament at every turn and all levels of the 'profane' and 'sacred', in the trivial and in the profound, no escape from sacrament." (Epoch and Artist, p 166-167)



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