Saturday, March 1, 2008

A particularly grey October

The recent retirement of El Jefe, Fidel Castro, reminded us of one of Arnold Schnabel’s more disturbing but nonetheless oddly beautiful poems, here republished for the first time since its début in the Olney Times of October 26, 1962.

It is perhaps worth noting that Arnold suffered a complete mental collapse just a little over two months after writing this poem.

(This sonnet brought to you by the kind permission of the Arnold Schnabel Society, all rights reserved. Imprimatur: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.)


An ash-grey morning, I stare at the sky;
Will this be the day that the missiles fall?
There’s nothing to be done, except to pray
Upon our knees, and ask the good Lord why
He cannot spare some of us, if not all,
If we promise to worship Him each day
And every night for the rest of our
Portion of what He should grant us of life,
If only a year, or a month, or just
A week, or a day, or even an hour,
No matter how fraught with fear and with strife,
Before we are blown into cosmic dust.
An ash-grey evening, I stare at the sky;
Will this be the night that you and I die?



(Kindly turn to the right hand side of this page for a listing of links to other classic poems by Arnold Schnabel, as well as to his Schaefer Award-winning memoir, Railroad Train to Heaven.)

7 comments:

My Father's Nephew said...

Ah, those were the good old days, hiding under our school desks for "air raid" drills...

kathleenmaher said...

I'd almost forgotten what real faith feels like.

Jennifer said...

Missiles were the least of Arnold's fears. Glad to see another of his poems.

Dan Leo said...

True that, Jen.

And -- while we're waiting for Arnold to write a new poem in the course of his memoir -- we'll try to dig out the occasional sonnet from the back files in future issues.

Jennifer said...

Just give us Arnold. :)

Anonymous said...

and his poems

Dan Leo said...

As Jeeves said to Bertie Wooster:

"I endeavour to give satisfaction."