Poetry: T. S. Eliot - The Boston Evening Transcript - Aunt Helen - Cousin Nancy - Mr. Apollinax - Links

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 20:17




The Boston Evening Transcript

     The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
     Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
     When evening quickens faintly in the street,
     Wakening the appetites of life in some
     And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
     I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
     Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
     If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
     And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript."



Aunt Helen

     Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt,
     And lived in a small house near a fashionable square
     Cared for by servants to the number of four.
     Now when she died there was silence in heaven
     And silence at her end of the street.
     The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet—
     He was aware that this sort of thing had occurred before.
     The dogs were handsomely provided for,
     But shortly afterwards the parrot died too.
     The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece,
     And the footman sat upon the dining-table
     Holding the second housemaid on his knees—
     Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived.



Cousin Nancy

     Miss Nancy Ellicott Strode across the hills and broke them,
     Rode across the hills and broke them—
     The barren New England hills—
     Riding to hounds
     Over the cow-pasture.

     Miss Nancy Ellicott smoked
     And danced all the modern dances;
     And her aunts were not quite sure how they felt about it,
     But they knew that it was modern.

     Upon the glazen shelves kept watch
     Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith,
     The army of unalterable law.



Mr. Apollinax

     When Mr. Apollinax visited the United States
     His laughter tinkled among the teacups.
     I thought of Fragilion, that shy figure among the birch-trees,
     And of Priapus in the shrubbery
     Gaping at the lady in the swing.
     In the palace of Mrs. Phlaccus, at Professor Channing-Cheetah's
     He laughed like an irresponsible foetus.
     His laughter was submarine and profound
     Like the old man of the sea's
     Hidden under coral islands
     Where worried bodies of drowned men drift down in the green silence,
     Dropping from fingers of surf.
     I looked for the head of Mr. Apollinax rolling under a chair
     Or grinning over a screen
     With seaweed in its hair.
     I heard the beat of centaur's hoofs over the hard turf
     As his dry and passionate talk devoured the afternoon.
     "He is a charming man"—"But after all what did he mean?"—
     "His pointed ears... He must be unbalanced,"—
     "There was something he said that I might have challenged."
     Of dowager Mrs. Phlaccus, and Professor and Mrs. Cheetah
     I remember a slice of lemon, and a bitten macaroon.




Poetry: T. S. Eliot - The Boston Evening Transcript - Aunt Helen - Cousin Nancy - Mr. Apollinax - Links 

 




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