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Sense and Sensibility

Our risk is not that we keep warm at night,

But that we may not work as long as there is light.

—Robert Bhain Campbell



Do we choose what to remember? Maybe

It’s the act of remembering rather

Than the thing remembered that’s important:

That we should obtain some task, though daunting

Or obscure, to give meaning to our life,

Adding in that way to universal sense

And sensibility, absent before.

The spider spins its web remembering

That it must needs persist if it's to eat,

Then eats what turns up—or mummies the thing

For such nice offspring as it may conceive.

So I, too, labor, producing these lines,

Hoping, perhaps, for progeny in time

Let loose in fancy, whether yours or mine.



Epigraph: Robert Bhain Campbell, “Crime and Counter-Crime,” in The Task (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1945), 9. Campbell died of cancer on December 3, 1940, aged of twenty-eight, leaving just this posthumous collection.


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