Smile and the World

“Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball….”

— T. S. Eliot


So here am I on
November the nineteenth wondering
whether with the willing kindness
of a smile I could bring the physical
laws of Newton to naught –
draw the detritus of dawn
and dusk, the furthest yin
and the farthest yang into a coiled
mass very much akin to beneath
the skin of golf balls of yore.

I ponder the ability of upturned
lips, bared teeth – the gorilla smile –
while meaning to bring a positive
response, to truly do such damage.

Would it be worth while to find out?


I have added a page of reference material to my blog — mostly poetry, but not only poetry.  Please take a look and feel free to comment!

2 thoughts on “Smile and the World

  1. This is an interesting response to the Eliot line, Charley. Pulling toether the balance of the world into something like the inside of a golf ball – amazingly creative image! However, the part that really captures me is that gorilla smile that isn’t really a smile, but a threat… or is it? I’ve read this several times and remain uncertain about much of it (which is a good thing in my book!) except that it is unsettling. There is much in the people around us that is unsettling and I see that in these words.


    • It is unsettling, and the poem remains unsettled. Intentionally so. I’m glad you make the connection between the threat (non-threat?) “smile” of the gorilla, and the people who pass by our lives, leaving us… unsettled. Smiles or no.

      Liked by 1 person

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