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Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes

October 23rd, 2015 (06:00 am)
sick

Current Mood: sick
Current Song: But You Won't by David Cook

A crazy bookcase, placed before
A low-price dealer's open door;
Therein arrayed in broken rows
A ragged crew of rhyme and prose,
The homeless vagrants, waifs, and strays
Whose low estate this line betrays
(Set forth the lesser birds to lime)
YOUR CHOICE AMONG THESE BOOKS 1 DIME!

This is the opening stanza from Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Here are two of my favorite stanzas from the poem:

What have I rescued from the shelf?
A Boswell, writing out himself!
For though he changes dress and name,
The man beneath is still the same,
Laughing or sad, by fits and starts,
One actor in a dozen parts,
And whatsoe'er the mask may be,
The voice assures us, This is he.

and:

And his is not the playwright's page;
His table does not ape the stage;
What matter if the figures seen
Are only shadows on a screen,
He finds in them his lurking thought,
And on their lips the words he sought,
Like one who sits before the keys
And plays a tune himself to please.


Click here to read the Epilogue in its entirety.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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Comments

Posted by: Jama Rattigan (jamarattigan)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC)

Why did I not know about this Epilogue? Must check it out. Thanks for the excerpts.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)

Thanks for hosting today!

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