Friday, July 24, 2009

Christopher Morley

Poems from a 1922 collection by Christopher Morley.

A Pragmatist
by Christopher Morley

The American poet Lindsay
(A mercurial fellow)
Began his career
By codifying the ways in which a poet
Can get a free meal.
Here was a seer!
Here was a man with strong grasp of essentials!


by Christopher Morley

The pearl
Is a disease of the oyster.
A poem
Is a disease of the spirit
Caused by the irritation
Of a granule of Truth
Fallen into that soft gray bivalve
We call the mind.



A Moment of Meditation
by Christopher Morley

I was told that America was a free country,
But I found many of its substantial citizens
Terrorized by the advertisements
Into believing it was immoral
To wear a straw hat
Later than September 15th.
Wise men know
There is no such thing as a free country --
There never will be.


Advice To Those Hiring Young Mandarins
by Christopher Morley

When I was private adviser
To Her Celestial Serenity The Empress
It was my duty
To interview young mandarins
Applying for important positions.
I always chose those who were shy,
For shyness in a youth
Is commendable.
It is a sign that he is aware
This is a perplexing world
And it is not well to uncover
His golden soul
To those who would not understand it.


Tick Douloureux
by Christopher Morley

I am wounded
In a fatal artery.
The vein of Time is cut,
The minutes are bleeding, bleeding away.
Bartender, make me a tourniquet for this hemorrhage
Or I shall tick to death.


Jone said...

Love the knowing where to look for more poetry prompts. Love the Morley poems especially this line: "a poem is a disease of the mind..." Will think on that all day.

Mary Lee said...

Your Morley picks make me want to read more!