Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nothing to be done

Some days there's nothing to be done but to post another Arnold Schnabel poem. This sonnet was published in the Olney Times in January 1963, a few days before Arnold suffered a nervous collapse and had to be committed to Byberry for eight weeks. Eight weeks in which he still somehow maintained his customary publishing schedule of one poem a week. (Poem republished through the kind indulgence of the Arnold Schnabel society.)


Nasty people should be shunned at any and all cost,
The grudging worker both and the arrogant boss;
To lose the friendship of the damned is nothing much lost,
Not to mention the stupid and habitually cross;
Bars are places one must never go into,
For in them sit the drunken, the boring and the loud;
Eschew the Protestant and Pagan and Buddhist and Hindoo
(And your average Roman Catholic, unjustifiably proud).
Avoid that silent man with malevelont eye
As well as that woman with her clacking tongue!
‘Tis only pity we cannot escape this one called “I”
On whom this baleful consciousness is hung.
Alas such is our fate and we have no other;
And this is why I live with my mother.

(For links to other Arnold Schnabel poems and to his sprawling memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, kindly check the right hand column of this page.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can I also too live with your mom? Please sir, for I have been shunned. Not soon to be unshunned.