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Title: Behold this Dreamer
Author: Bartlett, Elizabeth
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Cover art]



BEHOLD THIS DREAMER

Elizabeth Bartlett


_Behold This Dreamer_ was originally published in 1959 by Editorial Jus
in Mexico City, and is now out-of-print.  The author’s literary
executor, Steven James Bartlett, has decided to make the book available
as an open access publication, freely available to readers through
Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs license, which allows anyone to
distribute this work without changes to its content, provided that both
the author and the original URL from which this work was obtained are
mentioned, that the contents of this work are not used for commercial
purposes or profit, and that this work will not be used without the
copyright holder's written permission in derivative works (i.e., you
may not alter, transform, or build upon this work without such
permission).  The full legal statement of this license may be found at:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode

[Illustration: Creative Commons logo]



_Behold this Dreamer_



_By_ ELIZABETH BARTLETT


BOOKS

  _poems of yes and no_
  _Behold this Dreamer_


POEMS

_Accent, American Weave, Approach, Arizona Quarterly, Beloit Poetry
Journal, Canadian Forum, Catholic World, Chelsea Review, Coastlines,
Commentary, Cresset, Epos, Fiddlehead, Folio, four quarters, Harper's,
Harper's Bazaar, Literary Review, Mexican Life, Naked Ear, New Mexico
Quarterly, New Poems 2, New Voices 2, N. Y. Herald Tribune, N. Y.
Times, Nimrod, Odyssey, Outposts, Personalist, Poetry Chapbook, Prairie
Schooner, Quixote, Saturday Review, Shenandoah Review, Southwest
Review, Sparrow, Step Ladder, Venture, Views, Western Review, Western
Humanities Review, Whetstone, Wisconsin Poetry._



Acknowledgements: Certain of the poems in this collection have appeared
in publications listed above.

The title, _Behold This Dreamer_, is taken from an anthology of that
name, in tribute to its author, Walter de la Mare (1873-1956).



  _Behold this Dreamer_



  _Elizabeth Bartlett_



  _Editorial Jus, S. A._
  _Mexico City_



  First Edition
  © 1959 Elizabeth Bartlett



_To_ CHARLOTTE HOWELL REED



CONTENTS

Vision

The poet's dream

Time will tell

Afternoon of a journey

The cave

The test

In his image

All this, before

The creation



  _Vision_

  EYE _center of the universe
  Whose pupil is the world
  Teach us to see the light
  Embracing night_

  _Between the sunset and the dawn
  To see the unicorn
  Within that crystal ball
  Of pure recall_

  _Where time is an iris mirror
  A pointillated blur
  Of image and of form
  Caught in its storm_

  _With every moment held inside
  The frame of canvas mind
  Forever captive, stilled,
  Motion fulfilled_

  _Where memory and dream evoke
  The future like a window
  Made of stained glass, one cast
  From the fractured past_

  _As retina and perspective
  For our darkness, the bridge
  Connecting what has been
  With things foreseen_

  _Through your bright lens, illuminate
  The galaxy that waits
  Invisible as trust
  In stars and dust_



  _The Poet's Dream_

  WHEN _the waters of the sun
  Fall on the flaming sea_

  _When the desert rose is one
  With the snow sipping bee_

  _All that our senses now shun
  Time's alchemy will free_

  _On the coral shores of night
  The ghosts of fish shall wake_

  _And offer incense to the light
  That gives them bread to break_

  _From the singing shells with wings
  An artist's eye shall peer_

  _With violin hands for strings
  And a poet's ear_

  _Then white silence like a nun
  Shall lift her long white sleeves_

  _And shake the treasures she has spun
  From dreams whose thread she weaves_

  _From the surf of mountain caves
  A billion stars shall gush_

  _And whirl on the windward waves
  Through the darkened hush_

  _In the valley of moon trees
  The glowing fruit shall sway_

  _And rise by twos and threes
  Above the cradled day_

  _On the jungle's peaceful floor
  Lion and deer shall meet_

  _A crucifix made of ore
  Between their kneeling feet_

  _All of this and more shall be
  Within that shining net_

  _When time redeems mortality
  From its mortal debt_

  _Then magnet age shall point its north
  Towards youth's eternal pole_

  _That alpha star in the fourth
  Dimension of the soul_

  _Where love curves back in heartspace
  Within its chrysalis_

  _And gravitates the imaged face
  Of the all creating this_

  _From the light years of the past
  The undeflected force_

  _Shall bind the future fast
  To God's own source_

  _As cause and word unending
  Repeat the rhythmic plan_

  _Of universe transcending
  Man's origin as man_



  _Time Will Tell_

  WHERE _fireflies are stars
  And the evening sky a sea,
  There you will find me, far
  From the leveling demands
  That leveled you and me._

  _When distant mountains bend
  Like deep swells toward the shore,
  Then you will see the ends
  For which I built my dikes
  Against the lowly roar._

  _Though breath was all I owned
  To force my heart to climb,
  Though words were all the stones
  I had to seal my mind,
  You will know why, in time._



  _Afternoon of a Journey_

  THERE _will never be another,
  That day was forever._

  _We dove through tropic noon
  Into a green sky.  The palms stood
  Quiet, still, their fronds
  Like swollen waves about
  To break, transparent, lime limned
  And streaked from base to rim
  With icy light._

  _Lungs gilled and arms finned wide,
  We slipped into the pale
  Of that dry sea, following downrays
  Until we reached the cool
  Of silence, a sandpaved lagoon
  Upholding its weight of time
  Under trees that climbed._

  _Perched on a log, we scanned
  The currents, the drifting shaft
  Of shadows, instinctively alert
  To armadillo's crawl, the stir
  Of something red,
  The eye of an iguana met...
  Ourselves.  Perceiving_

  _We were not alone in breathing,
  Being witness,
  As well as evidence
  In that primal air,
  How all of us shared
  In the serene of a sunless glow
  Which waterless flowed._

  _Gently, we moved along a path
  That opened as we passed,
  Whispering our affirmations
  To those secret ones
  Who flickered and flashed,
  Carrying our echoes back
  From near, then far, far off._

  _And slowly, the silence arced,
  Leaped high--and broke,
  With parrots in the undertow
  As the waves rolled over
  And the green tide flooded
  The forest floor, whirling,
  Swirling a world set free._

  _Now all of us were cells
  In a chemistry of shells
  Older than snails,
  Plankton or sunbaked clay,
  Fellow creatures in an afternoon
  As joyous as a long lost tune
  About to be remembered._

  _Oh all of us there
  In that drenched, tropic green
  Began to sing and sing,
  Shedding our ties
  With root and rock and sky,
  As we found our song
  In our living bond._

  _Pod and leaf, mouth and beak,
  Whatever lived and breathed
  That sudden afternoon,
  Sang wonder through the woods,
  As we heard and discovered
  Each in the other
  Without a word._

  _Until a metallic bird,
  On roaring wings,
  Crashed our song beneath
  The hammered surf,
  As it thundered,
  Like lightning in a storm,
  Fearfully born._

  _Then all of us
  Grew motionless
  In the sculptured undersea
  Of silenced green,
  Knowing, as we did again,
  The thing forbidden and forgotten
  In a world of men._

  _There will never be another,
  That day was forever._



  _The Cave_

  DROP _by drop
  The earth is born
  A billion years
  From dark to dawn_

  _Drop by drop
  As rivers flow
  Past sunless cliffs
  No wind has known_

  _Where no grass blows
  And no birds sing
  There time drips slow
  And patient clings_

  _Drop by drop
  Till waterfalls
  Are turned to stone_

  _Here new stars form
  And mountains rise
  Clear of the storms
  That twist the sky_

  _Drop by drop
  While caverns tall
  Carve crystal bones_

  _What dream lies walled
  Within this night
  What shape shall crawl
  Up to the light_

  _Drop by drop
  As silence grows
  Inside its vault
  Of carbon snow_

  _When glaciers halt
  Before no zones
  When both the poles
  At last are one_

  _Drop by drop
  The dawn shall come
  A billion years
  From cave to sun_



  _The Test_

  HE _who would climb the heights of tone
  And scale the peaks beyond the listening ear,
  Must first walk over water
  And learn to stand on air, alone._

  _He who would swim the waves of light
  And dive past shores into a sunless glow,
  Must first merge with his shadow
  And melt through solid glass, like night._

  _Where eyes are fins and sound is leap,
  The rhythmic force performs its own ballet;
  When dreams are fired in clay,
  They burn a path through timeless sleep._



  _In His Image_

  WHO _has not looked into the heart of night
    and seen the darker light,
    concealed like spectral stars
    beyond the rim of Mars,_

  _Who has not listened to the sound of mind
    and heard the silence wind,
    like rivers underground
    out to a sea profound,_

    _has only eyes and ears._

  _Who has not reached above the clouded span
    and touched the cosmic plan,
    upheld like spider's climb
    upon the spokes of time,_

  _Who has not followed the labyrinthine thread
    And crushed the monstrous dread,
    that other men may gleam
    the glory of the dream,_

    _has only hands and feet._

  _Who has not lived within his hour of space
    and etched it with his face,
    as portrait of the sun
    reflects the solar one,_

    _is only shape and dust._



  _All This, Before_

  I RACED, _I rushed, I ran,
  to catch the empty hand of time--
  Before the wind, the blowing wind,
  This breathless gift._

  _I willed, I worked, I wept,
  To melt the frozen face of time--
  Before the sun, the burning sun,
  This frenzied bone._

  _I drank, I danced, I dared,
  To tempt the stony foot of time--
  Before the rain, the driving rain,
  This raptured flame._

  _I leaped, I laughed, I loved,
  To ease the burdened heart of time--
  Before the dust, the settling dust,
  This flesh and blood._



  _The Creation_

  OUT _of the white and the blue
  Out of the mist and the ice
  Out of the wind and the flame
  The creature came._

  _With eyes as brilliant as the light
  With ears as lucid as the sound
  With feet as sudden as the thought
  The creature caught_

  _A breath from the yawning sky
  A drop from the nodding sea
  A root from the sleeping earth
  And from their birth_

  _Measured the length of the seasons
  Balanced the rhythm of the tides
  Secured the growing of the seed
  And woke the need_

  _Of the dream inside the egg
  Of the thirst within the cell
  Of the shape beneath the bone
  Then took a stone_

  _And breaking the silent void
  And loosing the swollen stream
  And cutting the golden thread
  The creature said:_

  _Here on this dot of bounded space
  Here in this point of moving time
  Here with this seal of life and death
  I fix my breath_

  _That all the works of my hands
  That all the passions of my heart
  That all the wonders of my brain
  Shall here remain._

  _I, Gilgamesh, Rama, Adam
  I, Phoenician, Saxon, Mayan
  I, Peasant, Leader, Architect
  By this reject_

  _Perpetual day or night
  Everlasting rain or drought
  Eternal struggle or peace
  Until words cease_

  _Between infinite men and gods
  Between partisan young and old
  Between ultimate right and wrong
  For each is strong._

  _Let calendar be as record
  Let monument be as witness
  Let history here determine
  Which shall win._

  _Then the sky hurled its lightning
  Then the sea roared its thunder
  Then the earth reared its fire
  To show their ire_

  _At the vanity of the ego
  At the rashness of the sower
  At the folly of the dreamer
  And redeemer_

  _Who would thus destroy the sun
  Who would thus defy the flood
  Who would thus pollute the air
  And showed him there_

  _The blinding vision of the truth
  The deafening echoes of the damned
  The crashing madness of the plan
  That he began._

  _And when he saw the faces
  And when he heard the weeping
  And when he knew the sickness
  That men possess_

  _As mortal children of ambition
  As transient strangers of desire
  As fatal victims of perfection
  Released by none_

  _From the essence of the grape
  From the music of the reed
  From the incense of the bowl
  The creature stole_

  _The power of forgetfulness
  The illusion of contentment
  The promise of exaltation
  Making them one_

  _That the lost and unfulfilled
  That the laughter and the pain
  That the glory and defeat
  Be complete_

  _Seeing how frail is the candle
  Hearing how brief is the song
  Knowing how soon is the temple
  Darkened and still._

  _Then slipped the root from his feet
  Then poured the sound from his ears
  Then blew the light from his eyes
  And went more wise_

  _Into the white and the blue
  Into the mist and the ice
  Into the wind and the flame
  The way he came._



[Editorial note: The author's literary executor discovered in Elizabeth
Bartlett's personal autographed hardbound copy of _Behold This Dreamer_
her own marginal notations relating to the next-to-the-last stanza of
the above poem, accompanied by her confirming handwritten revision of
that stanza. The stanza as printed here incorporates her revision.]



  _Behold This Dreamer_
  is a signed, limited edition
  designed by the author
  on Corsican rag paper
  in Baskerville type



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Bartlett (1911-1994) was an American poet and writer noted
for her lyrical and symbolic poetry, creation of the new twelve-tone
form of poetry, founder of the international non-profit organization
Literary Olympics, Inc., and known as an author of fiction, essays,
reviews, translations, and as an editor. She is not to be confused with
the British poet (1924-2008) of the same name. For more detailed
information about her life, work, and critical commendations, see the
Wikipedia article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bartlett_%28American_poet%29.

Bartlett’s most notable achievements include:

* Creation of a new form of poetry, "the twelve-tone poem," adapting
Arnold Schonberg’s musical system to the verbal, accented sounds of
language. Called "the Emily Dickinson of the 20th Century," her concise
lyrics have been praised by poets, musicians, and composers alike.

* Publication of 16 books of poetry, a group of edited anthologies, and
more than 1,000 poems, short stories, and essays published, for
example, in _Harper’s_, _Virginia Quarterly_, _New York Times_, _North
American Review_, _Saturday Review_, _Prairie Schooner_, and in
numerous international collections.

* Recipient of many fellowships, grants and awards, including NEA, PEN
Syndicate, fellowships at the Huntington Hartford Foundation, Montalvo,
Yaddo, MacDowell, Dorland Mt. Colony and Ragdale, travel grants, and
honors for introducing literature as part of the Olympics.

* Founder of the Literary Olympics, to restore literature, specifically
poetry, as a vital part of the Olympics as it once had been in ancient
Greece.

Bartlett’s poetry came to the attention of leading poets, writers, and
critics as diverse as Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Mark Van Doren,
Conrad Aiken, Allen Tate, Alfred Kreymborg, Robert Hillyer, Louis
Untermeyer, Rolfe Humphries, John Ciardi, Richard Eberhart, Richard
Wilbur, Maxine Kumin, Robert M. Hutchins, Kenneth Rexroth, William
Stafford, and others. Over the years, Bartlett maintained an active and
extensive correspondence with eminent poets, writers, and literary
critics; evident throughout this collected literary correspondence are
strong statements attesting to the importance of her work.

_Behold This Dreamer_ was published in Mexico City in 1959. By 1961,
Jonathan Williams wrote of the book: "Your language is cultivated,
employed consistently and lucidly. To my observation, it seems fair to
say that you belong with the best of your generation, which I would say
includes May Swenson, Denise Levertov, Garrigue, et al." Louis
Untermeyer added his voice: "I particularly like your fusion of
observation and whimsicality, as well as your avoidance of the poetic
stereotypes." Rolfe Humphries was intrigued by Bartlett’s poetic
techniques: "I enjoyed your poems and admire many...." About _Behold
This Dreamer_, Gustav Davidson wrote: "I enjoyed reading these poems.
I was impressed by their precision, clarity, and technical competence."
About the same work, critic Paul Jordan-Smith wrote: "Your poems were
begotten of a strong, imaginative sense.  My congratulations on this
beautiful collection."

Elizabeth Bartlett's husband, Paul Alexander Bartlett (1909–1990) was
an American writer, artist, and poet. He made a large-scale study of
more than 350 Mexican haciendas, published novels, short stories, and
poetry, and worked as a fine artist in a variety of media. For more
detailed information about his life and work, see the Wikipedia article
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Alexander_Bartlett .

Elizabeth Bartlett’s son, Steven James Bartlett (1945– ), is a
psychologist and philosopher who has published many books and articles
in the fields of philosophy and psychology. For more detailed
information about his life and work, see the Wikipedia article
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_James_Bartlett.





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