Saturday, January 21, 2023

"Born nakedly to shiver"

In "Whatever Happened to Light Verse?" I enjoyed Phyllis McGinley's "Lament for a Wavering Viewpoint":
I want to be a Tory
And with the Tories stand,
Elect and bound for glory
With a proud congenial band.   
Or in the leftist hallways
I gladly would abide,
But from my youth I always
Could see the other side.
But all my views are plastic,
With neither form nor pride.
They stretch like new elastic
Around the Other Side;
And I grow lean and haggard
With searching out the taint
Of hero in the Blackguard
Of villain in the saint.
How comfortable to rest with
The safe and armored folk
Congenitally blessed with
Opinions stout as oak.
Assured that every question
One single answer hath,
They keep a good digestion
And whistle in their bath.
Ah, snug lie those that slumber
Beneath Conviction’s roof.
Their floors are sturdy lumber,
Their windows, weatherproof.
But I sleep cold forever
And cold sleep all my kind,
Born nakedly to shiver
In the draft of an open mind.

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