Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell
Solo For Ear-Trumpet
The carriage brushes through the bright
Leaves (violent jets from life to light);
Strong polished speed is plunging, heaves
Between the showers of bright hot leaves
The window-glasses glaze our faces
And jar them to the very basis —
But they could never put a polish
Upon my manners or abolish
My most distinct disinclination
For calling on a rich relation!
In her house — (bulwark built between
The life man lives and visions seen) —
The sunlight hiccups white as chalk,
Grown drunk with emptiness of talk,
And silence hisses like a snake —
Invertebrate and rattling ache….
Then suddenly Eternity
Drowns all the houses like a sea
And down the street the Trump of Doom
Blares madly — shakes the drawing-room
Where raw-edged shadows sting forlorn
As dank dark nettles. Down the horn
Of her ear-trumpet I convey
The news that 'It is Judgment Day!'
'Speak louder: I don't catch, my dear.'
I roared: 'It is the Trump we hear!'
'The What?' 'THE TRUMP!' 'I shall complain!
…. the boy-scouts practising again.'
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