As stone suffers of stoniness,
As light of its shiningness,
As birds of their wingedness,
So I of my whoness.
And what the cure of all this?
What the not and not suffering?
What the better and later of this?
What the more me of me?
How for the pain-world to be
More world and no pain?
How for the faithful rain to fall
More wet and more dry?
How for the wilful blood to run
More salt-red and sweet-white?
And how for me in my actualness
To more shriek and more smile?
By no other miracles,
By the same knowing poison,
By an improved anguish,
By my further dying.
From the preface to Poems: A Joking Word, published in 1930:
“Before anything has got to be, it has got to be preceded by something that has not got to be. These poems have got to be. Or rather, when they weren’t they had got to be. Or rather, I had got not to feel myself and think doom but to think myself and feel doom. (p 9)
“My poems then are instead of my life. I don’t mean that in my poems I escape from my life. My life itself would be nothing but escaping, or anybody’s. I mean that in my poems I escape from escaping. And my life reads all wrong to me and my poems read all right. And by doom I don’t mean the destruction of me. I mean making me into doom – not my doom but doom. Made into doom I feel made. I also feel making. I feel like doom and doom feels like me.” (pp 10-11)
Read more about Laura Riding HERE.