Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Song of the Drunken Business Man
By Sherwood Anderson
 
From “Mid-American Songs”

DON’T try, little one, to keep hold of me.
  Go home! There’s a place for you by the fire.
Age is waiting to welcome you, love—
  Go home and sit by the fire.
 
Into the naked street I ran,        5
  Roaring and bellowing like a cow;
Shaking the walls of the houses down,
  Proclaiming my dream of black desire.
 
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole,
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole.        10
 
If there’s a thing in this world that’s good it’s guts.
  I’m a blackbird hovering over the land:
Go on home! Let me alone.
 
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole,
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole.        15
 
Do you know, little dove, I admire your lips—
  They’re so red.
What are you doing out in the street?
  Take my arm! Look at me!
Ah, you be gone. I’m sixty-five years old tonight,        20
  Now what’s the use of beginning again.
 
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole,
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole.
 
Well, I’m tired. I ache. What’s the use?
  I can’t meet the note. I have a son.        25
Let’s go home. It’s twelve o’clock.
  I’m going to get that boy into West Point yet.
 
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole,
  Eighteen letters in a pigeon-hole.
 
 
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