Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Having a Birthday Today

I hadn't planned this post, but today's piece on Limebirds (Say What?), on favorite quotes by writers on writing made me think of this poem by Robert Graves.  It has nothing directly to do with writing, but it has a good deal to say about birthdays, especially if you're getting older. I used to have it printed up in large type and hung above my computer, until I ran out of space on my bulletin board.  (Source: Collected Poems, 1975. New York,Oxford University Press, 1988 [c1975] p. 196)

          The Twin of Sleep

Death is the twin of Sleep, they say:
For I shall rise renewed,
Free from the cramps of yesterday,
Clear-eyed and supple-thewed.

But though this bland analogy
Helps other folk to face
Decrepitude, senility,
Madness, disease, disgrace,

I do not like Death’s greedy looks:
Give me his twin instead –
Sleep never auctions off my books,
My boots, my shirts, my bed.



  1. I love this poem! And happy belated birthday. Glad I found your blog.

    1. Thanks, Mary, I'm glad I found yours, too! I've had only three pageviews on this and one of those was Jack! Nobody reads poetry these days - sigh! - even humorous poetry. You might also try my other blog, which is devoted to my projected series of books The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head (I'm retelling Greek myths from the viewpoint of my termite people).