The Expiration

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
Which sucks two souls, and vapors both away,
Turn thou ghost that way, and let me turn this,
And let our selves benight our happiest day,
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
Any, so cheap a death, as saying, Go;
Go; and if that word have not quite kil'd thee,
Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Oh, if it have, let my word work on me,
And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
Being double dead, going, and bidding, go.

by John Donne

Comments (6)

I hope I was right to burst out laughing at the end of this! ! ! I'm pretty sure it would have been all right with Haas. He kept speed dialing through a series of scenarios for his imaginary woodsman and his uncle to deal with only to realize that the poem was falling apart- - (“I have imagined no pack animal.... They are waiting for me to do something”) . The poem concludes, simply, “There are limits to imagination.” Love it. Get a plot started, got the characters sitting around being characters and then....poof, ran out of imagination. Empathy will only get a writer so far!
This poem has all the hallmarks that make a good Robert Hass poem. I love the relaxed pace, the strong meandering imagery and the subtle humour. I recently discovered RH's Time And Materials collection from 2007. A book I would certainly recommend.
WAR mankind's greatest passion or should I say favorite past time? I suppose continuous fighting is as ingrained as anything else in the human psyche.Well Art imitates life and life imitates art and it's an unending cycle.Death is the only winner and the great equalizer-pacifyer-THE END Great provocative work.I will look for more of this poet's works! ! ! ! ! ! A ten from me I could never give him less! ! ! !
Very much appreciate this poem..... as usual in a Hass poem, so much is going on, and by the end we feel like we've been through a psychic odyssey... Well done. Craig Steiger
Not perhaps the best single-poem introduction to this writer of humanity and humour - here reflecting on the nature of imagination - but go seek his poetry elsewhere (Poemhunter has to abide by copyright rules re living poets) - he's a delightful and highly accessible man and poet. There's a fine reading by him on Google Video.
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