Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Five Poems by Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Alone in the Woods

 Alone in the woods I felt
The bitter hostility of the sky and the trees
Nature has taught her creatures to hate
Man that fusses and fumes
Unquiet man
As the sap rises in the trees
As the sap paints the trees a violent green
So rises the wrath of Nature's creatures
At man
So paints the face of Nature a violent green.
Nature is sick at man
Sick at his fuss and fume
Sick at his agonies
Sick at his gaudy mind
That drives his body
Ever more quickly
More and more
In the wrong direction.

Thoughts About the Christian Doctrine of Eternal Hell

Is it not interesting to see
How the Christians continually
Try to separate themselves in vain
From the doctrine of eternal pain?
They cannot do it,
They are vowed to it,
The Lord said it,
They must believe it.
So the vulnerable body is stretched without pity
On flames forever. Is this not pretty?
The religion of Christianity
Is mixed of sweetness and cruelty.
Reject this Sweetness for she wears
A smoky dress out of hell fires.
Who makes a god, who pains him thus?
It is the Christian religion does.
Oh oh have none of it,
Blow it away, have done with it.


He told his life story to Mrs. Courtly
Who was a widow. 'Let us get married shortly',
He said. 'I am no longer passionate,
But we can have some conversation before it is too late.'

In the Night

I longed for companionship rather,
But my companions I always wished farther.
And now in the desolate night
I think only of the people I should like to bite.

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