Poem: Ballade of Frustration by Alan B.

I quail beneath the jursidiction
   Of all my creditors unpaid,
Whose ineluctable restriction
   Chains Poesy to sordid Trade.
   Where is the chant of pool and glade,
The splendid things I ache to utter?
   Wait, Fortune, wait -- ah, fickle jade,
This is a song for bread and butter!

Where is my book of deep prediction,
   Such as the thoughtful Wells portrayed?
The philosophic contradiction
   That puts old Nietzsche in the shade?
   Where are injustices inveighed,
Setting my readers in a flutter?
   These calls I haven't obeyed;
This is a song for bread and butter.

Then there's a book of glowing fiction.
   The stuff by which men's hearts are swayed,
A masterpiece of thought and diction,
   Warm with the love of man and maid,
   But still undone; and I'm afraid
'Twill have to wait, what time I stutter
   In quip and foolish pasquinade;
This is a song for bread and butter.


And lyrics, too, I might have made:
   Fine, flowing verse, sans halt or splutter;
But there's a butcher to be paid ....
   This is a song for bread and butter!

First published in The Bulletin, 12 August 1920

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 28, 2008 8:08 AM.

Reviews of Australian Books #89 was the previous entry in this blog.

Chloe Hooper Interview is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en