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gertrude

April 2018

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bobby

National Poetry Day

As it’s National Poetry Day, here’s a poem.

The Fall of Rome

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

W H Auden



The last four lines are a marvel to me.

Comments

I thought that you had written that as it's so topical!
I must find one or write one today :-)
Thanks for sharing
I wish! Unfortunately I wasn't one of the literary geniuses of the twentieth century.

You're welcome!
Beautiful.
Glad you like.
What a fabulous poem (and new to me). Thank you for sharing it.
Happy to share my fandoms. I think he was wonderful.
Thank you for that; I love Auden and had never come across this one before.
Great, isn't it? It's subtitled 'for Cyril Connolly'.