Disparity in Despair by Leslie Poles Hartley

If the despair that you and I have known
Were accurately apportioned, each to each,
Not every pebble on a shingly beach
Not every grain of wheat for harvest sown
Mustered and piled, would bear comparison
With your despair; for your despair would reach
The stars : the volume of your griefs would teach
Astronomers a new dimension.

But mine, I think, would be a small despair
That I could carry with me, portable;
A caked cold cinder from the fires of hell
A souvenir, a trophy. I would wear
It carelessly, and sometimes I would tell
Its story, all save this: who found it there.

From: Oxford Poetry, 1922, Basil Blackwell: Oxford, p. 10.

Date: 1922

By: Leslie Poles Hartley (1895-1972)

One Comment to “Disparity in Despair by Leslie Poles Hartley”

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