Friday, January 9, 2009

Song for Cracked Voices, a poem by Morris Bishop.

Morris Bishop (1893 - 1973) had a long and distinguished career as a scholar, linguist, teacher, and author of 30 books. He was also a master of light verse, and enjoyed a wide and appreciative readership in the 40-years he contributed to the Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, Life, and the Saturday Review.
He was a professor of Romance Literature at Cornell and held three degrees from that university. He was awarded many honorary degrees from other universities in the US, Canada, and France, where he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He served for a time as president of the Modern Language Association.
His verses speak to our fads and foibles and his ingenious way with words makes us laugh at ourselves.

Song for Cracked Voices by Morris Bishop

There once was a man
With a burning desire:
"As soon as I can
I want to retire;
Retirement is what
I want to get on to,
And work I will not,
But do what I want to."

With energy vast,
He labored undaunted
In order at last
To do what he wanted.
But when, after all
His struggles were through,
He couldn't recall
What he wanted to do.

Oh, most of us can't
(And much we regret it)
Still want what we want
When able to get it.
But happy, I grant,
Are the fortunate few
Who do what they want
When they know what to do.


Anonymous said...

That's fantastic. I love that one!

-Your loving daughter and your biggest fan!


john cotter said...

the fan part is mutual - as is the love :-)