Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine never sent


I'm a jam tart, I'm a bargain basement,
I'm a work of art, I'm a magic casement,
A coal cellar, an umbrella, a sewing machine,
A radio, a hymn book, an old french bean,
I don't know what I am,
You've put a spell on me.

I'm a dog's nose, I'm Sir Humphrey Davy,
I'm a Christmas rose, I'm the British Navy,
A motor, a bloater, a charcoal grill,
An octopus, a towpath, Hindenburg's will,
A villiage fair, a maiden's prayer, the BBC, a pram –
I don't know what I am,
You've put a spell on me.

I'm a salmon, I'm a starting pistol,
I'm backgammon, I'm the Port of Bristol.
A Times leader, a child's feeder, an aspirin,
The Ritz Hotel, a boy scout, the wages of sin,
A shaving brush, a schoolgirl's crush, the letter B, a ham –
I don't know what I am,
You've put a spell on me.

I'm an off–break, I'm a clump of beeches,
I'm a tummy ache, I'm Mussolini's speeches,
I'm Balmoral, I'm a sorrel mare, I'm a tug
A cigarette, an organ, a big bed–bug
A traffic sign, a rubber mine, a coffee tree, O damn –
I don't know what I am,
You've put a spell on me.

-- W.H. Auden

3 comments:

haneway said...

"You're the top!
You're the Coliseum.
You're the top!
You're the Louver Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!"

And your favorite Slate links "You're the Top" through Bloomsday. Such the zeitgeist!
http://www.slate.com/id/2120550/

Maggie said...

Aw, shucks!

Maggie said...

Times when I wish I sitll lived in NY. The 92nd Street Y is doing a birthday celebration for Auden on March 5.