Sunday, August 23, 2009

796. Mr. Eliot's Day - Robert Francis

(Impressions upon perusing "The Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot")

At 8:00 he rises, bathes, and dresses,
And very privately confesses.

At 9:00 he breaks fast with his host
On café noir and thin dry toast.

At 10:00, as one who bears the Grail,
A maid brings him his morning mail.

At 11:00, town. He offers thanks
At one old church and two old banks.

At 12:00, still in the mood of prayer,
He drops into a deep club chair.

At 1:00 he's lunching with a bishop
On spring lamb garnished with true hyssop.

At 2:00 the poet starts to nod,
Now toward, and now away from, God.

At 3:00 he wakes and makes repair
Of the strict parting of his hair.

At 4:00, back at his host's estate,
He picks a rose and ponders fate.

At 5:00, over a cocktail glass,
He is reminded of the Mass.

At 6:00 he and his favorite cat
Hold a brief, metaphysical chat.

At 7:00, with a distinguished sinner
And well-known saint, he faces dinner.

At 8:00 the three men still converse
On why the world is so much worse.

At 9:00, for lighter recreation,
They play charades on In-car-na-tion.

At 10:00, alone, robed in a jaunty
Dressing gown, he's deep in Dante.

11:00 strikes. Now hoots the owl.
He leaves the house for a deep, dark prowl.

At 12:00 he mounts, with measured tread,
The penitential stairs to bed