The dude generally pisses me off with his fucking stupid misogyny and gender essentialism, not to mention racism, but I do love this poem:
Death Is Not Evil, Evil Is Mechanical
Only the human being, absolved from kissing and strife
goes on and on and on, without wandering
fixed upon the hub of the ego
going, yet never wandering, fixed, yet in motion,
the kind of hell that is real, grey and awful
sinless and stainless going round and round
the kind of hell grey Dante never saw
but of which he had a bit inside him.
Know thyself, and that thou art mortal.
But know thyself, denying that thou art mortal:
a thing of kisses and strife
a lit-up shaft of rain
a calling column of blood
a rose tree bronzey with thorns
a mixture of love and hate
a wind that blows back and forth
a creature of beautiful peace, like a river
and a creature of conflict, like a cataract:
know thyself, in denial of all these things —
And thou shalt begin to spin round on the hub of the obscene ego
a grey void thing that goes without wandering
a machine that in itself is nothing
a centre of the evil world.
Frankly, I ignore the fact that someone’s been reading too much Freud and return to this poem for the middle part: the quintessence of glorious, vacillating humanity. "A calling column of blood" — what a perfect evocation of our physicality and our longing for emotional connection.
D.H. Lawrence really hates machines… He especially has it out for electric wheelchairs [ref. Clifford Chatterley]. Fuck off, D.H. Lawrence!