James Merrill

(3 March 1926 – 6 February 1995 / New York City, New York)

The Candid Decorator


I thought I would do over
All of it. I was tired
Of scars and stains, of bleared
Panes, tinge of the liver.
The fuchsia in the center
Looked positively weird
I felt it—dry as paper.
I called a decorator.
In next to no time such
A nice young man appeared.
What had I in mind?
Oh, lots and lots of things—
Fresh colors, pinks and whites
That one would want to touch;
The windows redesigned;
The plant thrown out in favor,
Say, of a small tree,
An orange or a pear . . .
He listened dreamily.
Combing his golden hair
He measured with one glance
The distance I had come
To reach this point. And then
He put away his comb
He said: “Extravagance!
Suppose it could be done.
You’d have to give me carte
Blanche and an untold sum.
But to be frank, my dear,
Living here quite alone
(Oh I have seen it, true,
But me you needn’t fear)
You’ve one thing to the good:
While not exactly smart,
Your wee place, on the whole
It couldn’t be more ‘you.’
Still, if you like—” I could
Not speak. He had seen my soul,
Had said what I dreaded to hear.
Ending the interview
I rose, blindly. I swept
To show him to the door,
And knelt, when he had left,
By my Grand Rapids chair,
And wept until I laughed
And laughed until I wept.

Submitted: Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Candid Decorator by James Merrill )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. The Tiger, William Blake
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Sarah Flower Adams

O Love! thou makest all things even
In earth or heaven;
Finding thy way through prison-bars
Up to the stars;
Or, true to the Almighty plan,
That out of dust created man,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Beloved Brand, Pranab K. Chakraborty
  2. The Shadow, Benjamin Michael Clark
  3. Under The Moonlit Nights, I See You, See.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. have you seen my hand?, Mandolyn ...
  5. My Inspiration Are You, The Day I Saw You, Bijay Kant Dubey
  6. Azar, Nassy Fesharaki
  7. Ohio State, Saiom Shriver
  8. crowding around the crumbs you leave, Mandolyn ...
  9. The Drunkard All Alone in The House, Bijay Kant Dubey
  10. Wide Open II, Edward Kofi Louis
[Hata Bildir]