James Agee

A Parable of Doors
(and their construction)

All things of life I term as many doors:
Entrance to each or all, that man may win
Who neither questions, nor no more implores
But that with mindless ease he be let in.

Such men are myriad and the door swings wide
And smoothly they swarm through, who care not why,
Initiate to those mysteries most denied
Those who most seek them: such a man am I.

I would expound those truths unalterably
Flayed to strict harmonies no mind has sung.
Mindful that truths are founded axially,
By too much mind all hinges I have sprung:

For it was thus: I lunged the brutal mind
Shoulder to hinge post, since the truth stood there;
Which neither yielded nor have I repined,
But lunge and batter and am in despair.

I cramped all gates of love forever shut,
All beauty is for ever wrecked for me,
And God all spiked with brain, and here is but
One door, whose certitude the others flee.

That door is death: and though my chief assault
And shrewdest labor I've assemble there,
Dark hinges no conjecture may default
Soon shall devolve me on a doorless air.