Margaret Alice Second

Gold Star - 15,878 Points (24 January 1961 / South Africa)

A Joyful Sorrow [rev] - Poem by Margaret Alice Second

When doing meaningless monthly reports with
numbers and figures - I literally lose my mind;
it seems my working off two stat-docs at once
is impossible: as the 2nd appears, I forget the
1st’s content - only by keeping a commentary
running in my head could I keep a tiny part of
mind almost focused on columns of numbers,
brackets and sums

When calculating - I forget what every number
stands for, struggling on without enough data to
come to conclusions on what happened in the
Section in July - then my translation’s returned
from a dear colleague with far too much time -
redoing the letter on 10 occasions - with each
one better than the last; more documents with
such wide possibility of interpretation are ready

To teach me patience & perseverance - all the
nonsensical words written by automatons with
nothing to say and excelling in saying it; these
words I am to study and cherish and translate,
watching bored colleagues demolish structures
& all my choices of nouns and verbs - but with a
Fa-là- Fa-là-l♪-la I bury the glorious docs to be
kept as my raison d’être, a confirmation of my

Being - without the requisite Work-on-Hand I’m
bereft, a waif without meaning; work affords me
joyful sorrow to treasure - and an excuse to cry
to my heart’s delight - now I’m becoming one of
the Sylphides all dancing to death - without the
work I would be challenged to find a sad cause
worthy of my great powers of lamentation, clad
in sackcloth and ashes as befits one who feels
such need for self-flagellation…

Topic(s) of this poem: feelings, humour, laughter


Comments about A Joyful Sorrow [rev] by Margaret Alice Second

  • Dr.tony Brahmin (8/31/2015 11:58:00 PM)


    the daily boredom of work which does not satisfy us, but somehow compelled to do and the heart's desire and wish to do something meaningful to engage the creative mind- - all that is pictured in your poem. such a cogitation brings a lot of life in the reasoning of life and the necessary steps to take to make it jovial and happy. thank you for presenting such beautiful thoughts. (Report) Reply

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  • Kim Barney (8/31/2015 6:07:00 AM)


    Sounds more like sorrow than joyful, but well written and at least a joy to read! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 31, 2015

Poem Edited: Monday, August 31, 2015


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