Poem of the Day: “Upstairs Downstairs” by Hervey Allen

Good Morning from Memphis, I’ve already traveled through a storm and an overly chatty flight attendant, but I’m here and using the lovely free Wi-Fi at the Memphis airport to share this poem with you while I wait for Jules to arrive! Happy Friday everyone! (It’s far from a Happy Friday poem I’m afraid, but I plan these out awhile in advance…)

 The judge, who lives impeccably upstairs
With dull decorum and its implication,
Has all his servants in to family prayers,
And edifies his soul with exhortation.
Meanwhile his blacks live wastefully downstairs;
Not always chaste, they manage to exist
With less decorum than the judge upstairs,
And find withal a something that he missed.

This painful fact a Swede philosopher,
Who tarried for a fortnight in our city,
Remarked, one evening at the meal, before
We paralyzed him silent with our pity —
Saying the black man living with the white
Had given more than white men could requite.

He looks like I’ve always imagined the face of Big Brother in 1984 would be

(Disclaimer: I’m basing my poem choices on those I understand to be in the public domain. If I’ve made a mistake – which is very possible – and you own the copyright to a poem I have posted please e-mail me at igetabitobsessive@gmail.com and I will take the post down immediately.)


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