I was a little stumped for this one. I waded through my collection and couldn’t come up with anything. Then I remembered that before I moved here, I stuffed a folder with certain poems and random scraps of paper in my suitcase and fished it out of my cupboard last night. I came across this poem by Connie Bensley and was immediately transported to school. Horrible white uniforms, hanging out by the canteen, lots of canteen food (we had the yummiest éclairs!), long telephone conversations and whispered discussions in class about our latest ‘infatuations’ (we called them ‘crushes’ back then. Tee hee. Do people still call it that?)
This was the stage where people our age had started going out and wow, there was enough drama in these relationships/crushes to fuel an 8 season long soap opera. Don’t judge us too harshly. We were ‘only teenagers’, after all. Plus, I think all of us go through this phase at some point of our lives.
To Those People I’ve Annoyed by My Infatuations
First there was the boy with the hamster
who blushed and became monosyllabic;
Then there was the music master
who ignored my notes;
was it the gynecologist next?
Such men cultivate deafness;
and what about the psephologist?
My predilections were strange in those days.
Finally, that Austrian with no chin and a bow tie
who moved out of the district
I’d like to apologize to you all
for the inconvenience caused
by my tears and sighs,
intrusion and lingering looks.
I am quite better now.
This one, I think is self-explanatory. The event it reminds me of is a little too personal to share and not my story to tell, but the poem in my opinion is one of Auden’s best. It’s simple but oh so very effective
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
Ps: I’ve posted Connie Bensley’s poem once before as well. Her work is very, very readable.