Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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I suspect this is a moment for emotion,

Unfortunately–or fortunately–I was never trained for sudden exhibitions.

The lady is weeping—which strikes me as being more than suitable,

Daintily in balance, frailly in keeping with the stunned delicacy of the situation;

Her tears run cool and corrosive—embalming the harsh corpse of a truth too suddenly realised.

Truths always drift to me gradually, gratuitously,

I have no use for tears . . .

Is this a minor tragedy at the Close of the Year?

I like not this dry-eyed poseur at the Fall of the World ——

I an rubberskinned elastic, strung taut.

I an not permitted the thin-lipped luxury of snapping in twain.

In my father’s house, there were many hygienic maisonettes.

In my father’s mansions the smile and the sigh

Are somewhat indicative of impropriety,

A lapse of taste, an inexcusable lack of poise—


But ah, the lapse and the lack are like spring water on Sirocco-crack’d lips.

Weep lady . . .







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