The Sublime Boy: The Poetry of Walter DeCasseres
SUBLIMITY is that which transcends circumstance by an act of beauty or sacrifice. Walter DeCasseres was the Sublime Boy. He walked in the few years of his life with the Crazy Beauty which hallucinated the souls of Shelley, Keats, Poe, Blake and Heine. He walked out of life with a gesture of sublime disdain that raised him to the shining summits of the Morning Star, where the souls of all child-gods go. The fury of a Titan foiled of his heaven, the frenzied paroxysms of a star-traveling eagle trying to gnaw its way out of its cage of flesh and bone, the rage of Ixion as he picks up the stone that he is doomed to roll forever and hurls it with imprecations against the ramparts of the gods: that was Walter DeCasseres, who, in his eighteenth year, went with the same passionate hurry and joy to the Everlasting Sleep as Youth hurries to the breasts of Venus. He was a boy who spurned his manhood before he had lived it. He abridged the agony of years; he curtailed his Drama to a curtain-raiser; he compressed life to a song and a curse. He came, he saw, he yawned. He was the mystery of precocious and elemental genius. There was a colossal mirror in his brain that reflected the hells of the Past and the grinning disillusions of the Future. On the exquisite keyboard of his nerves Satan and Medusa executed in thunder-tones the Ninth Symphony of Pain. His heart was the Mystical Rose stuck in a dung-heap.