03 November 2009

Ode on an International Package ~ November 3rd

My big package from home arrived today, finally...after a missed drop-off yesterday and a 2 hour wait today. Inside: sweaters, winter coat, skirts, thermos, music, notes from home, and alot of love.
My thanks and apologies to the brilliant John Keats.
For original, see http://www.bartleby.com/101/625.html

Thou still unarriv’d bride of FedEx,
Thou foster-child of Postage and slow Time,
Strange package, who canst thus express,
A typical tale more disappointing than our rhyme:
What tape-edged legend haunts about thy shape
Of fines or regulations, or of both?
In Customs or the paths of Trucks?
What stamps and papers are these? What labels loth?
What mad waiting? What struggle to enter?
What signatures and payments? What wild anticipation?

“Package Missed” notes are fine, but packages accompanied
Are finer; therefore, ye quiet rings, continue.
Not to the absent listener, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the doorbell buzzes of all tones:
Dear postman, at the entrance, thou canst not abandon
Thy place, nor ever can this doorstep be empty;
Bold Hopeful, never, never, canst thou leave,
Though impatient near the arrival – yet, do not grieve;
He shall not leave, though thou hast not thy slip,
For ever wilt thou wait, and he be faithful!

Ah, happy, happy hands! That cannot hold
Your burden, nor ever greet the Elevator door;
And, happy bearer, unwearied,
For ever whistling joy for ever new;
More beautiful packages! More beautiful, beautiful packages!
For ever cold and still to be open’d,
For ever dented and for ever worn;
All stuff-ed brown cube sealed
That leaves a heart high-spirited and full,
A flushed brow, and expectant gaze.

Who are these coming to deliver?
To what foreign student, O uniformed priest
Bring’th thou that package bursting at its base,
And all her edges with duck-tape drest?
What little gift from family or friend,
Or love-wrapped with loud paper,
Is sent with its delights, this dreary noon?
And, little package, thy box for evermore
Will reused be; and not a soul, to tell
Where thou art come, can next venture.

O Beloved form! Fair box! With layers
Of paper cardboard and glue overlayed,
With reinforced edges and folded shape;
Thou, solid shape! Does tease us out of patience,
As doth long lectures. Abrupt Deliverer!
When hard tests shall this generation kill,
Thou shalt arrive, in midst of other woe
Than waiting , a friend to foreigners, to whom thou say’st,
“Package is here, here for you, - that is all
Ye have at this time, and all which ye must pay
The high-priced delivery fee for”


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.