Thursday, August 2, 2007

Somebody bring Arnold a Schlitz

A truly sublime sonnet from Arnold Schnabel, first published in the July 27, 1963 issue of the Olney Times, and harkening back bravely to his famous poem “One Night” (which latter was composed immediately following his breakdown and commitment to Byberry).

Internal evidence suggests that this poem was written on the night of the morning described in our last installment of his memoir, Railroad Train to Heaven.

(Rebroadcast thanks to the continuing generosity of the Arnold Schnabel Society, all rights reserved to that noble organization.)

“The Hammock”

After a modest lunch of liverwurst
On pumpernickel, washed down with iced tea,
It is decidedly far from the worst
Thing in life just to rise and go nicely
Lie myself down in the hammock out back
(Hooked from an oak and the rear of house
And fashioned from an old potato sack),
Content as a dog, a cat, or a mouse,
Or even as this tree, or the great sky
Flickering through the living boughs;
I do not fear rising into that eye
Of fire, nor do I ask the whys and hows;
If the sky should want me, let it take me;
I’m as ready now as I’ll ever be.

(For links to other transcendental poems by Arnold Schnabel, as well as to his sprawling memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, step firmly over to the right hand column of this page.)


Becker said...

The man is hanging by a thread. He's like a balloon filled with helium.

Goodtime Samaritan said...

I don't know whether to be happy for him or afraid for him.

me and you and a movie named pooh said...

Hey Schnabel, ya gotta stop eating those backyard mushrooms, or the sky will take you.

Dan Leo said...

Arnold on mushrooms; now there's a thought to give one pause.

Kathleen Maher said...

Good samaritan, Aren't you afraid of him? I am, but then I'm morbidly squeamish, I'm...afraid.

Dan Leo said...

Don't worry, Kathleen, somehow I don't see Arnold as being dangerous; at least not to other people.

Anonymous said...

this is sublime

Dan Leo said...

Arnold's spirit thanks you, anon.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, everybody, if you want to visit a true garden of sublime literary delights go visit our previous commenter Kathleen Maher's site, "Diary of a Heretic":

And don't worry, she's not really a heretic; that's just the name of her site.

Manny said...

Either Arnold Schnabel is an unheralded genius, or you are, Dan.
Or maybe you both are...

nursemargaret said...

True dat, Manny.

Dan Leo said...

Manny and NurseMags: it's all about "the Schnab".