Poem: "Remainders" by Ganesha (Louis Esson)

They lie in casual heaps, these lorn, lost books,
   Love lyrics, thrilling tale, historic tome,
Where none but heedless hands and scornful looks
   Take notice of their last neglected home.
A soulless publisher has marked them down
To sixpence each, or eight for half a crown.

"Remainders" now, they have outlived their time,
   Their publisher has cast them out of sight,
Not spareth he the gentle poet's rhyme,
   Nor funny narratives some authors write.
He throws them to the wide, wide world, and eke
The nursemaid's novellete and sage critique.

Here lies "Lord Rudolph's Secret love," and here
   "If Maids but Knew," a passionate romance
That drew from fair frail flappers many a tear,
   Tossed in with Coffyn's "Sermon's," just by chance.
"Roses of Rapture" and "In Chloe's Day"
(Such daring books!) have gone the self-same way.

Here is a name, the pride of yesterday,
   A hundred thousand readers was his score;
His masterpiece, now marked a modest tray,
   None but a passing straggler glances o'er.
Best sellers, like poor blokes without a name,
They drop into the basket just the same.

They lie, poor books, neglected, put to rest,
   "Remainders," now scarce able to entice,
Though lauded loudly as the last and best.
   Reluctant purchasers to risk the price.
This is the end of every author's stocks,
Oblivion in a little dusty box.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 August 1925

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 18, 2005 9:18 AM.

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