For all his wild hair like an aureole,
Stammer at parties, slipping from a tram,
Putting off the mending of a sole,
And putting on a mock-heroic Damn!,
He notices the spider’s intestines
Claim harlot, smuggler and blackmarketeer,
And in the clicking grin his eye divines
A moody world of artifice and fear.
Above all, this: When a woman turns
Black clouds of hair, with a rhythmic hand
Weaving their silk in the possessive sun,
He sees her common eyes stretch to a land
O lost, lost; as when repentance yearns
For hope,and love, and finds that there is none.
Of course the the poet is talking about a poet. A clumsy poet who wears his hair like an aureole,stammers at parties,slips from a tram and puts off the mending of a sole. But he is agile and observant ,noticing all those things like the spider’s intestines claiming harlot,smuggler and black marketeer .In the “clicking” grin he divines a moody world of artifice and fear.
The most beautiful part of the poem is the image that comes in the second stanza .In this the poet “sees” an exaggerated poetry in the woman’s eyes when they were just common.When the woman turns black clouds of hair ,with a rhythmic hand weaving their silk in the possessive sun,he sees her eyes stretch to a land lost ,as when repentance yearns for hope and love and finds that there is none. Delicious.The poet ,rather too quickly,divines a moody world of artifice and fear.
One wonders if the poet is having a quiet dig at our poet friend who is spinning fancy tales about the woman who is standing in the sun to comb her hair.