Everything Small and Modest

Everything Small and Modest

Robert looks happy here.

Eyes lit up like lamps

full of wonder..

He is on one of his long walks

from the asylum,

He has spotted something.

Perhaps it is a wood pigeon

clearing its throat.

Or a song thrush balancing on a twig,

beak open ready to burst into song.

Everything small and modest

is pleasant and beautiful. Robert declared.

He looks dapper here, and in good  health

certainly better that he did when he was found

dead in the snow that Xmas day in’ 56,

the photograph that ghouls pore over.

He didn’t write much in those last years

at the asylum , letting himself off the hook,

declaring, I am here to be mad, not to write.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

19 thoughts on “Everything Small and Modest

  1. Part way through a long essay on the Poetry Foundation website and will return later to read more and dig deeper. What a story! Like Bob, I had to look up Walser. Acknowledged influence to Kafka, praised by Hesse and Mann…spent his last 23 years in an asylum “like a child enraptured by the idea that he had been forgotten”… writing volumes in miniature. Thanks very much for this John, and your great poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • no, just the long New Yorker article from 2007 which fascinated me ; it featured extracts from some of his works, the most fascinating were the ‘feuilletons’ featured in newspapers and magazines of that time —

      Liked by 1 person

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