Thursday, June 14, 2007

Probably my final sentimental wankfest entry.

There are two books that I would probably need if I were to be stuck on a desert Island. One is Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, The other is the Collected Poems of Primo Levi.

As my last offical day of school is about to begin I want to share with you one of my favourite Levi poems. Please indulge me.

Unfinished Business

Sir, starting next month,
Please accept my resignation
And, if necessary, find a replacement for me.
I leave alot of uncompleted work,
Either from laziness or practical problems.
I should have said something to someone,
But no longer know what or to whom. I have forgotten.
I should have given something away, too:
A word of wisdom, a gift, a kiss.
I've put it off from one day to the next. Forgive me.
I'll take care of it in the short time that's left.
I have, I fear, neglected important clients.
I should have visited
Faraway cities, islands, deserted lands;
You'll have to cross them off the program
Or entrust them to my successor's care.
I should have planted trees and haven't done it,
Built myself a house,
Perhaps not beautiful but conforming to a plan.
Above all, dear sir, I had in mind
A marvellous book that would have
Revealed innumerable secrets,
Alleviated pain and fear,
Dissolved doubts, given to many people
The boon of tears and laughter.
You'll find the outline in my drawer,
In back, with the unfinished business.
I haven't had time to see it through. Too bad.
It would have been a fundamental work.

Primo Levi.


weasel said...

Splendid poem by Mr. Levi- thank you for posting it. Does read a little like a suicide note or the living will of a hospice patient, but jaunty nonetheless.

Mondale said...

jaunty was the note i was hoping to strike. With the post that is, not the poem as i didn't write that. Obviously.