Life interferes my thoughts. So what? Shall I
Now theorize in strange Cloudcuckoolands,
Dance in a wicker basket in the clouds,
Condemn this life because of its demands?
I have to eat, and so did every man --
There is no need to whine about my lot
Because the world won't bow before my feet
And Cornish hens don't fly to my mouth, hot.
This time of wealth allows us luxuries,
Like poor men writing books and making art
Like wealthy men once did in times of kings,
When girls could choose a nun, or wife, or tart.
Romantics look back on that time and sigh --
Naive, they think those better times for those
Who live the life of mind, though they would be
Then whores or thieves or planters of wheat rows.
Their backs would ache, their twenty children scream --
At least, the five who would survive to die
An early death of hunger, overwork,
White pus from blackened wounds, too weak to cry.
The worst you've seen of life was when you chose
A Master's in a field without a chance
Of work -- and then you blame the life-wise for
The fact that, running, you fell on your lance.
A coward whines that his mistakes are caused
By others who know nothing that he's done --
A person's brave when they live with each choice
They made -- if poor, this person still has won.
The only thing that I regret is that
I'm sensitive to idiots that flee
From life, responsibility, and so
Produce from me didactic poetry.
The spirit of the times thus speaks through me,
As filtered through my readings and my life --
I cannot help the lines that spill from both --
Though better would be love songs for my wife.
Yes, better men would spring from love by lines
They read of how my zoftig love, in bed,
Is beautiful by moonlight as she sleeps
Than reading about intellects of lead.