Sunday, April 02, 2006


A Glass Half Full

A Glass Half Full
Originally uploaded by Karlek.

Felix Dennis a rich publisher who has a house on Mustique gave a reading at Government House. I kept reading the books I got by giving a contribution to the GGs charity, and took another look at Robert Graves. This resulted in:

Twenty-First Century

Fusilier Captain Graves escaped his namesake
Felix Dennis did so in his time
But was it death that made them take
to such unfashionable rhyme?

Shaw's first avoidance of fatality
Was private, not the public show
He made his life. Sam Spade's morality
needed the prod of death to let us know.

Gautama Buddha let himself get hungry.
Jesus of Nazareth let himself get hung.
Mozart felt death was like a buddy.
Steve Jobs said death made iPods sing.

So aren't we lucky to be jointly facing terror
from the millions that we've taught to hate
us; so that we can see, as in a shining mirror,
our naked souls before it is too late?

Karl Eklund

"Escape" from Robert Graves: Fairies and Fusiliers, 1918. "Life Support" from Felix Dennis: A Glass Half Full, 2002. Shaw's biographers suspect he had a bout of smallpox before coming to London. Dashiell Hammett started writing when he expected to die from tuberculosis. Mozart wrote that in a letter to his father. Steve Jobs implied that in a commencement address at Stanford University.

The prose version is at:

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