Sonntag, 30. Juli 2017

Harry Graham (40)

Aus den Anfangstagen des Radios berichtet das folgende Gedicht aus »Adam's Apples« (1930):
Harry Graham: The Home Breaker

There was a time – for ever past! –
   When, as the shades of night descended,
My troubles to the wind I cast
And, freed from worldly cares at last,
   My daily labours ended,
I hied me home, at evening's close,
To sweet repast and calm repose.

Beside the fire I loved to sit,
   Enjoying well-earned peace and solace,
And, as I smoked, my wife would knit,
Or else she'd read aloud a bit
   From Proust or Edgar Wallace,
Or we'd exchange our artless views
Upon the last Divorce-Court news.

Sweet moments (I recall them yet!)
   Before our conjugal estrangement,
Ere that well-meaning friend she met
Who gave my wife a wireless set,
   A portable arrangement,
Has made this home of ours a hell
Where peace and rest can never dwell.

A tireless wireless devotee
   With knitting now upon the floor cast,
My spouse no longer reads to me,
But listens-in to 5GB,
   To Shipping News and Forecast,
To talks on »British Fungi« or
»The Insect Life of Ecuador.«

And though I've caught her complex too,
   It strains our intimate relations,
And bitter quarrels must ensue
When both are trying to »get through«
   To diff'rent wireless stations;
For when I long to listen in
To Aberdeen, she wants Berlin!

In vain I grumble: »Darling, come!
   You make existence double hard if,
Each time I pick up Hilversum,
You move the tuner with your thumb
   And switch me back to Cardiff!
I know that you prefer Dundee,
But there's no place like Rome for me!«

          *          *          *          *

Wife of my bosom, cease to frown;
   If you have smiles to wear, please wear one!
We're still the happiest pair in town!
The battery has just run down,
   And so, as we've no spare one,
We'll read and gossip as of yore,
And home will be a home once more!

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