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- YOUTH is the season of revolt; at twenty-five
- We curse the reigning politicians,
- Wondering that any man alive
- Stands for such damnable conditions.
- Whatever is, to us, is wrong,
- In economics, life, religion, art;
- The crowned old laureates of song
- Are pikers, and accepted sages
- Appear devoid of intellect and heart;
- Continually, the ego in us rages;
- Our sense of universal, rank injustice
- Swells till it's like to bust us;
- We love to see ourselves as outcast goats
- Browsing at basement tobbledotes,
- The while we forge the mordant bolt
- That is to give society its jolt;
- And any man who wears two eyes upon his face
- Contentedly and unashamed,
- And glories in the pose
- And makes a virtue of his having just one nose,
- We curse as dull, conventional, and tamed
- And commonplace.
- Thirty finds us a trigle sobered, with a doubt
- Whether we'll turn the cosmos inside-out,
- Reform the earth, regild the moon
- And make the Pleiads sing a modern tune;
- Some of the classics are not bores, we think,
- And barbers have their uses;
- We grow more choice in what we eat and drink,
- Less angry at abuses;
- We work a little harder, want more pay,
- Grab on to better jobs,
- And learn to make excuses
- For certain individuals erstwhile condemned as snobs;
- We do not worry nine hours every day
- because the world in its traditional, crool way [sic]
- Continues to roll calmly on and crush
- The worthier myriads into bloody mush;
- And yet, at thirty, on the whole,
- If analyzed we still would show a trace of soul.
- At forty--well, you know:
- Chins, bank accounts, and stomachs start to grow;
- The world's still wrong in spite of all we've tried
- To do for it, and we're no longer broken hearted--
- We sit on it and ride,
- We're willing, now, to let the darned thing slide
- Along in just about the way it stated.
- Of course, we're anxious for reforms,
- And all that sort of stuff,
- Unless they cause too many economic storms--
- But really, on the whole it's well enough:
- We hold by standards, rules and norms.
- But when I'm eighty I intend
- To turn a fool again for twenty years or so;
- Go back to being twenty-five,
- Drop cautions and conventions, join some little group
- Fantastically rebel and alive,
- And resolute, from soup
- To nuts; I'll reimburse myself
- For all the freak stuff that I've had to keep upon the shelf;
- Indulge my crochets, be the friend of man,
- And pull the thoughts I've always had to can--
- I'm looking forward to a rough, rebellous, unrespectable old age,
- Kicking the world uphill
- With laughter shrill
- And squeals of high-pitched, throaty rage.
- Don Marquis
Poets' Corner .
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