Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Second Philosopher's Song

By Aldous Huxley

If, O my Lesbia, I should commit,
Not fornication, dear, but suicide,
My Thames-blown body (Pliny vouches it)
Would drift face upwards on the oily tide
With the other garbage, till it putrefied.

But you, if all your lovers’ frozen hearts
Conspired to send you, desperate, to drown –
Your maiden modesty would float face down,
And men would weep upon your hinder parts.

‘Tis the Lord’s doing. Marvellous is the plan
By which this best of worlds is wisely planned.
One law he made for women, one for man :
We bow the head and do not understand.

Comments : Nose-thumbing undergraduate wit; though ribald, a neat dig at womanly modesty. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Satire is an excellent device for conveying any kind of emotion or philosophical point, providing it is executed properly.

Huxley was a supreme master of satire in my estimation and much underrated and maligned as a poet, philosopher and humanitarian by that eternal clique, the 'establishment' to this very day.
Humanity, or what's left of it, would do well to reassess his literary legacy again.

This is a poem to be revered and savoured, in contrast to what one artistically impotent late pillar of the arts establishment, Kenneth Tynan, said about it and about Huxley himself.

Being a male-chauvinist, on the sly, heh, I love it!