Stevie Smith
Thoughts about the Person from Porlock

    Coleridge received the Person from Porlock
    And ever after called him a curse
    Then why did he hurry to let him in?
    He might have hid in the house.

    It was not right of Coleridge in fact it was wrong
    (But often we all do wrong)
    As the truth is I think, he was already stuck
    With Kubla Khan.

    He was weeping and crying, I am finished, finished
    I shall never write another word of it,
    When along comes the Person from Porlock
    And takes the blame for it.

    It was not right it was wrong,
    But often we all do wrong.

    *

    May we inquire the name of the Person from Porlock?
    Why Porson, didn't you know?
    He lived at the bottom of Porlock Hill
    So had a long way to go.

    He wasn't much in the social sense
    Though his grandmother was a Warlock
    One of the Rutlandshire ones I fancy
    And nothing to do with Porlock.

    But he lived at the bottom of a hill as I said
    And had a cat named Flo
    And had a cat named Flo.

    *

    I long for the Person from Porlock
    To bring my thoughts to an end
    I am becoming impatient to see him
    I think of him as a friend

    Often I look out of the window
    Often I run to the gate
    I think, He will come this evening
    I think it is rather late.

    I am hungry to be interrupted
    For ever and ever amen
    O Person from Porlock come quickly
    And bring my thoughts to an end.

    *

    I felicitate the people who have a Person from Porlock
    To break up everything and throw it away
    Because then there will be nothing to keep them
    And they need not stay.

    *

    Oh this Person from Porlock is a great interrupter
    He interrupts us for ever
    People say he is a dreadful fellow
    But really he is desirable.

    Why should they grumble so much?
    He comes like benison
    They should be glad he has not forgotten them
    They might have had to go on.

    *

    These thoughts are depressing, I know. They are depressing.
    I wish I was more cheerful it is more pleasant
    Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting
    To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting

    With various mixtures of human character which goes best
    All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us.
    There I go again. Smile smile and get some work to do
    Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.



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