It’s been some little time since we’ve featured a newly unearthed Arnold Schnabel poem; we thought that this sonnet would be suitable for the dog days. Published only once previously, in the Olney Times for August 10, 1962, in that troubled but artistically rich period preceding Arnold’s complete mental breakdown in January of the following year.
The streets shimmer as the old women stag-
ger with their pendulant sacks filled with God
knows what. “Potatoes mostly,” says the wag
on the corner watching all the world’s odd-
ness float past him, smiling indifferent-
ly, even as the world evident-
ly ignores him. “You see it’s for pota-
to soup. They make it every single day.
They think that we're all still in the Depress-
ion. Oh, by the way, do you think that you --”
I toss him a dime, and with the sun press-
ing against my back, I walk on, home to
Mother through these streets so bright;
She's made some potato soup for tonight.
(Kindly look to the right hand column of this page to find a listing of links to many of the other fine poems of Arnold Schnabel, suitable for declamation at weddings, retirement parties, and funeral obsequies. This broadcast made possible thanks to the kind permission of the Arnold Schnabel Society of Philadelphia.)