Monday, March 24, 2008

A very special holiday rebroadcast

Phil Silvers as "Sgt. Bilko"

It is with great pleasure and laziness that we present to you a beloved Arnold Schnabel poem first published here on April 10th of last year and before that printed only once, in the
Olney Times of April 28, 1962, during that creatively rich period leading up to the poet's complete mental breakdown in January of the following year.

Commenting on this sonnet Harold Bloom wrote, "It makes me almost wish not so much that I could be a Catholic, but that I could be a fallen Catholic."

"The Day After Easter"

The day after Easter, and I am still alive,
And all those entrusted to my care have survived as well;
I walk home longing for leftover ham, with chive,
Through streets which if not Heaven then are not Hell.
From Fern Rock Station to Nedro and B
Is a half hour's walk, but I prefer it to the bus;
This is my time to think, to feel, to merely be,
Whilst ignoring not to tip my hat to those of us
Who live in this fair land that men call Olney;
And perhaps to pick up some treat for Mother,
A coffee cake at Fink's, or maybe a stop at the Colney
Deli, to purchase some fresh wurst or other.
The evening gently awaits before our '51 Philco:
Tonight will be a good one, with my dear friend Sgt. Bilko.

(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.)


Anonymous said...

"Through streets which if not Heaven then are not Hell."

now, that's pretty fucking heavy!

Dan Leo said...

Arnold was one heavy dude all right.

Jennifer said...

to merely be

And that is more than enough.

Unknown said...

The day after Easter, and I am still alive,

The line is so suggestive, and I'm not sure the first associations that flood my mind are ones Arnold intended. Though I know that's currently an incorrect way to read.