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Tony Grist

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They Also Serve [Jun. 16th, 2016|11:04 am]
Tony Grist
They Also Serve

I ring the bell
And a servant comes;
He brings me things.
His name is Franz.

His wife is dead
But he has a daughter
(A poet needs
To know such things)
A clever girl
Who can write her name
And lives on a mountain
And milks the goats
For her grandmama
In another country.

I wish we were friends.
I wish he'd ask me
About my daughter.
I have no daughter.
My mother
Is a pensioned lady
Who also lives
In another country.
She walks her dogs
On the promenade
Of the Wannensee.
I live in castles
Belonging to women
Richer than I am.
I think he hates me.

Last week I asked
For a ream of paper-
A certain weave,
A certain colour-
And there it is
On the desk by the window
Unwritten on.
He's too polite
To look that way
But if he did
I'd want to tell him,
"Listen Franz
I'm a servant too;
I hang around,
I take dictation."

Sometimes I think
I'll ask him for
Something absurd
Like a pamplemousse.
He'd find it too
He's clever that way,
Or his mistress is.

The sea is calm,
The sky is blue
Is that a gull,
Eh, Franz? Franz.

Oh angel with
Your eyes of jet,
Angel
With your feet of flame.
Oh angel with the words- words-
Don't be a stranger.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2016-06-16 11:34 am (UTC)
I don't know what this is about (I keep thinking Hoelderlin) but wow it's powerful.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-06-16 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

I was thinking about Rilke. The speaker isn't Rilke (I don't know enough about him for one thing) but he was the jumping off point.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2016-06-16 04:01 pm (UTC)
An interesting turn of phrase - and of mind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-06-16 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-06-16 07:34 pm (UTC)
I live in castles
Belonging to women
Richer than I am.
I think he hates me.


Oh, Rilke. [edit] Okay, not Rilke. But this poem definitely has his shadow on it. It's a good thing.

But if he did
I'd want to tell him,
"Listen Franz
I'm a servant too;
I hang around,
I take dictation."


I really like this.

Edited at 2016-06-16 07:34 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-06-16 07:44 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't presume to get inside Rilke's head- so this isn't him, but it was thinking about him that started me off.

Thanks. It feels like something I was given. All poems are that to some extent- but this really did seem to come of it's own accord.
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