Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SOPHOMORE, by JOHN BROOKS WHEELWRIGHT



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THE SOPHOMORE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When, catching his own glance, he analysed
Last Line: Condemned himself as well, and owns — defeat.
Subject(s): Boys; Classmates; Scholarship & Scholars; Schoolmates


I

WHEN, catching his own glance, he analysed
What stared so impolitely from the mirror,
He wondered if he earnestly despised
That callow face. Or did he hold it dearer

Because, unlike his classmates, he preferred
Talk of autumnal women, always mellow,
Or boys, with whom his well-considered word
Not always marked him as a crazy fellow?

II

Their naked, small ambitions are disgusting;
They prize the world's poor business more than peace;
They have no virtue but their charm; encrusting
Their speech with filth, they ape senilities.

— Waiting for age to make him less uncouth,
He dared condemn too harshly their conceit,
And, blaming their inevitable youth,
Condemned himself as well, and owns — defeat.





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