The Poetry Corner

Crapulous Impression

By Aldous Leonard Huxley

(To J.S.) Still life, still life ... the high-lights shine Hard and sharp on the bottles: the wine Stands firmly solid in the glasses, Smooth yellow ice, through which there passes The lamp's bright pencil of down-struck light. The fruits metallically gleam, Globey in their heaped-up bowl, And there are faces against the night Of the outer room - faces that seem Part of this still, still life ... they've lost their soul. And amongst these frozen faces you smiled, Surprised, surprisingly, like a child: And out of the frozen welter of sound Your voice came quietly, quietly. "What about God?" you said. "I have found Much to be said for Totality. All, I take it, is God: God's all - This bottle, for instance ..." I recall, Dimly, that you took God by the neck - God-in-the-bottle - and pushed Him across: But I, without a moment's loss Moved God-in-the-salt in front and shouted: "Check!"