PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

Two Poems

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I posted two poems as part of my closing duties on Return of the Reluctant. I’ll post them here as well. “This isn’t my closing post,” I wrote, “but I—like Tao—will post a poem. Okay, two poems, one of which you’ve read a thousand times before but that I [heart]. Deal with it!” First poem:

A STUDY OF READING HABITS

When getting my nose in a book
Cured most things short of school,
It was worth ruining my eyes
To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.

Later, with inch-thick specs,
Evil was just my lark:
Me and my coat and fangs
Had ripping times in the dark.
The women I clubbed with sex!
I broke them up like meringues.

Don’t read much now: the dude
Who lets the girl down before
The hero arrives, the chap
Who’s yellow and keeps the store
Seem far too familiar. Get stewed:
Books are a load of crap.

Philip Larkin

Second poem:

THE LEADEN ECHO

How to kéep—is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, … from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles deep,
Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there’s none, there’s none, O no there’s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there’s none; no no no there ’s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

All is well.

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Written by patiomensch

May 25, 2007 at 10:47 am

Posted in Philip Larkin, Quotes

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