“The Complex Life” by Iris Tree

"The Complex Life"

I know it to be true that those who live

As do the grasses and the lilies of the field

Receiving joy from Heaven, sweetly yield

Their joy to Earth, and taking Beauty, give.


But we are gathered for the looms of Fate

That Time with ever-turning multiplying wheels

Spins into complex patterns and conceals

His huge invention with forms intricate.


Each generation blindly fills the plan,

A sorry muddle or an inspiration of God ;

With many processes from out the sod,

The Earth and Heaven are mingled and made man.

[ . . . ]

Iris Tree's poem "The Complex Life" was published in the 1919 Wheels anthology (p. 42). To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, follow the link(s) below:


The Modernist Journals Project

Librivox audio recording hosted on Archive.org