Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)

My Generation Reading the Newspapers


By Kenneth Patchen      
We must be slow and delicate; return
the policeman's stare with some esteem,   
remember this is not a shadow play
of doves and geese but this is now
the time to write it down, record the words—
I mean we should have left some pride
of youth and not forget the destiny of men   
who say goodbye to the wives and homes   
they've read about at breakfast in a restaurant:   
"My love."—without regret or bitterness   
obtain the measure of the stride we make,   
the latest song has chosen a theme of love   
delivering us from all evil—destroy. . . ?
why no. . . this too is fanciful. . . funny how   
hard it is to be slow and delicate in this,   
this thing of framing words to mark this grave   
I mean nothing short of blood in every street   
on earth can fitly voice the loss of these.

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