Sunday, May 05, 2013


The Savage

Today is the birthday of Christopher Morley (1890-1957). I first read his novels Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop when I was in high school, and I still re-read them every year or two, with undiminished enjoyment. Here is one of Morley's poems, "The Savage," from his Hide and Seek (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1920), pp. 19-20:
Civilization causes me
Alternate fits: disgust and glee.

Buried in piles of glass and stone
My private spirit moves alone,

Where every day from eight to six
I keep alive by hasty tricks.

But I am simple in my soul;
My mind is sullen to control.

At dusk I smell the scent of earth,
And I am dumb—too glad for mirth.

I know the savors night can give,
And then, and then, I live, I live!

No man is wholly pure and free,
For that is not his destiny,

But though I bend, I will not break:
And still be savage, for Truth's sake.

God damns the easily convinced
(Like Pilate, when his hands he rinsed).

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?