Two Early Poems
Weltschmerz: Lines Before Breakfast
(dedicated to myself on m\' nineteenth l)irthday)
This morning I walked through the city
Sick in my heart and my soul,
I longed to be blind to the world.
To all but the ground at my feet.
Then my eyes flew suddenly upward.
Pulled by a magical force,
And my glance was arrested and nailed
To a bleak little black sign.
As I stood there, intent and bewildered
The inscription slowly grew clear.
And I read—alas that I read it—
"Headquarters: cremation committee."
Poor heart, what are you listening to?
Can you hear death composing lullabies?
Or laden with sorrow, do you feel
The pangs of longing in those printed words?
April 16, 1903