A Sick Child

The postman comes when I am still in bed.
"Postman, what do you have for me today?"
I say to him. (But really I'm in bed.)
Then he says - what shall I have him say?

"This letter says that you are president
Of - this word here; it's a republic."
Tell them I can't answer right away.
"It's your duty." No, I'd rather just be sick.

Then he tells me there are letters saying everything
That I can think of that I want for them to say.
I say, "Well, thank you very much. Good-bye."
He is ashamed, and turns and walks away.

If I can think of it, it isn't what I want.
I want . . . I want a ship from some near star
To land in the yard, and beings to come out
And think to me: "So this is where you are!

Come." Except that they won't do,
I thought of them. . . . And yet somewhere there must be
Something that's different from everything.
All that I've never thought of - think of me!

by Randall Jarrell

Comments (9)

THE FIRST PART: because they cannot be posted in ONE WHOLE, so I have divided inti THREE PARTS: My CONGRATS to the Family of the Classic Poet. Such a greatest JOY to read this very intelligent poem of The DAY. Full of metaphors and bit irony. It is here an obvious fact that the poet was not addicted to alcohol,
THE SECOND PART: as he declared himself as dry and clean BUT he made hints to the present famous persons in society at his time. All I know is that the poet loved a very lot reading books that he described in the last FIVE lines. I must admit that I had to read this poem at the least twice. Perhaps thrice.
THE LAST PART: A very enjoyable Classic poem with tints of light irony. With the very best wishes, a TEN for this entertaining poem, sincerely Sylvia Frances Chan AD Saturday 9 Dec 2017 at 1.35 hrs. AM West European Time.
Fall on me! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
From the Spoon River Anthology I'm guessing, the above poem by itself loses something without knowing who the other people are the speaker refers to. I like how straightforward it is and the descriptive language—devoured and rotted great verbs in their contexts, and impotent and errant great adjectives in theirs. What was the book? I'd like to know. And the closing four lines are mysteries that I share which bring to my mind the idea of destiny. GK
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