Monday, March 21, 2005

Is it World Poetry Day? The UK Guardian offers a poetry moodmatcher--answer eleven questions to "find the poem to suit your mood".

My results (ahem!):

A Ballad of Suicide

The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall.
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours--on the wall--
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
The strangest whim has seized me... After all
I think I will not hang myself today.

Tomorrow is the time I get my pay--
My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall--
I see a little cloud all pink and grey--
Perhaps the Rector's mother will not call--
I fancy that I heard from Mr Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way--
I never read the works of Juvenal--
I think I will not hang myself today.

The world will have another washing day;
The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall;
Rationalists are growing rational--
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray,
So secret that the very sky seems small--
I think I will not hang myself today.

Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
Even today your royal head may fall--
I think I will not hang myself today.

-- G.K. Chesterton

(Perhaps it's time to re-read The Man Who Was Tuesday.)

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