Preparations for the Reception of a Soul by Anne Haverty

For Swinburne, Symons
Arranged the angels
In rows of three
And organised Goethe
To be there
At the head of
The waiting party.

Bearers of Fernet Branca
Opium and turkey-legs,
Aids poets use on earth
To attain heaven
He didn’t mention.
An expert, he assumed that
After the journey
Poets would live
On the ether of each other.

To welcome in
The ordinary soul
There is the old
Assembly of kith and kin,
An auntie to take your hand,
A long-beloved’s smile
To light the path
To the Beatific Familiar.

As usual, I want everything
Ether and hearth,
Everybody to be there,
Goethe and grandmother
The young man who
Died in France on the lonely
Rack of the parallel bars
Running with Radiguet
Along our paradise shore.
And the one who is
Locked in my heart.

A perfect university
For the affectionate elect,
A blooming of my first
Stunted year at Trinity,
Uncle floating across the Square
For a word with Mary Anne
Known of course as George
To Browning.

From: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09670889208455363

Date: 1992

By: Anne Haverty (1959- )

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