“Unacknowledged Legislators”

As do great poets, some geneticists
Increase the evil in the world, some the good.
Both human types, however, in Shelley’s sense
Are legislators, and in practice gods.
For just as these scientists sculpt the seeds of life,
Bards transubstantiate thoughts into words –
Which, if not identified as metaphors,
In time assume flesh and are thus born
As other people’s good or evil deeds.

               

Jerusalem
13 January 1998