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First Draft of Asia, undated

Asia. In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the heartland of Asia.   In the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed source elemental.   Alexander's Gate stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded; just where the hero on the verge of his given godhead would invade and conquer the source - there, not only orgies of splendour and the new wisdom of naked masters of Yoga but also a desolation in which the sound of perishing armies rang.

   The rage of Love appeard to me to be a convulsion of the sea, driven by storm winds or shaken by upheavals of the under earth, itself an ocean of rock and fire.   War, love, and the poem - showings forth of the deepst forces and cleavings of Man's inner nature.   In 1950 America had become possesst by a demonic dream - it was a nightmare - the phantasm of a blinding fear of communism and of the depths of Asia.   And from China, in the inspired poetry of Mao Tse-tung, there were signs of the ancient empire of Kublai Khan reawakening.   Working with sections from an essay on Mao's poetry by Robert Payne which had appeard in Horizon, and with quotes from Payne's translations from Mao, and consulting a fifth of Cutty Sark, in An Imaginary War Elegy I began to compose