Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Suddenly a storm erupts, a storm within the ox. "How wild its will, how ungovernable its power!" the poet exclaims. The rope strains: who has who by the nose? Right now, there is no question: the Idea has the boy. Look who's on the ground! Look who's getting dragged around!
What has gone wrong?
Nothing has gone wrong, but much has happened. For at the very moment when the boy "got" the Idea, the very moment when he thought it was his, it changed. It showed itself to be a beast that kicked and bucked with a thousand muscles, a thousand raging implications. The boy was overhwhelmed. "When one thought moved, another followed, and then another--an endless train," says the poet. The boy tried to whip the Idea into shape, but it shaped him.
Now, as he bumps along on the ground, the boy longs to return to the seeing-place and the wind in the willows. But he cannot go back. He can only hang on. In the poet's words, the boy must commit "the whole energy of his being" to hanging on, no matter how much his hands ache, no matter where the Idea takes him.
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