Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CONRAD AT TWILIGHT, by JOHN CROWE RANSOM

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CONRAD AT TWILIGHT, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Conrad, conrad, aren't you old
Last Line: But conrad has not answered a word.
Subject(s): Conrad, Joseph (1857-1924)

Conrad, Conrad, aren't you old
To sit so late in a mouldy garden?
And I think Conrad knows it well,
Nursing his knees, too rheumy and cold
To warm the wrath of a Forest of Arden.

Neuralgia in the back of his neck,
His lungs filling with such miasma,
His feet dipping in leafage and muck:
Conrad! you've forgotten asthma.

Conrad's house has thick red walls
And chips on Conrad's hearth are blazing,
Slippers and pipe and tea are served,
Anchovy toast, Conrad! 'Tis pleasing,
Still Conrad's back is not uncurved,
And here's an autumn on him, teasing.

Autumn days in our section
Are the most used-up thing on earth,
(Or in the waters under the earth).
Having no more color nor predilection
Than cornstalks too wet for the fire,
A ribbon rotting on the byre,
A man's face as weathered as straw
By the summer's flare and the winter's flaw.

Conrad, rise up and steel your soul
And smite an anvil, draw a sword
(See William James and Henry Ford)
And point you to a mightier goal!
But Conrad has not answered a word.

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