Arthur Symons

(28 February 1865 – 22 January 1945 / Milford Havens, Wales)

In The Stalls

Poem by Arthur Symons

My life is like a music-hall,
Where, in the impotence of rage,
Chained by enchantment to my stall,
I see myself upon the stage
Dance to amuse a music-hall.

'Tis I that smoke this cigarette,
Lounge here, and laugh for vacancy,
And watch the dancers turn; and yet
It is my very self I see
Across the cloudy cigarette.

My very self that turns and trips,
Painted, pathetically gay,
An empty song upon the lips
In make-believe of holiday:
I, I, this thing that turns and trips!

The light flares in the music-hall,
The light, the sound, that weary us;
Hour follows hour, I count them all,
Lagging, and loud, and riotous:
My life is like a music-hall.

Comments about In The Stalls by Arthur Symons

  • Alistair Graham (12/24/2013 2:56:00 AM)

    My Beef


    Marvellous collection of cooked meat
    animals fed on grass as green as crayons

    Blood-red joker markings on my upper lip
    fair-trade organic grape this evening

    I walk with a cigarette to the garden
    holy smoke about geraniums on the window sill

    The seductive leaves, black ink on velvet
    the blossom hues draw me close
    for love

    I stroll to the fenced shrub garden
    sit on the bench
    funnel smoke through my lips
    at brown snails on the wall


    The Frigidaire meat selection
    I slice the beef and roll it
    on my tongue

    I will greet tomorrow
    I shall decide the attire
    although part of the day
    may hold me in chains

    I will eat the tongue of an ox
    I will bellow bronzed words
    onto 48 sheets
    throughout Belfast(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: music, dance, believe, song, light, life

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Saturday, December 3, 2011

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