The Greatest Writer of to-day
(With Maupassant I almost set him)
Said to me in a weary way,
The last occasion that I met him:
"Old chap, this world is more and more
Becoming bourgeois, blasé, blousy:
Thank God I've lived so long before
It got so definitely lousy.
" Said I: "Old chap, I don't agree.
Why should one so dispraise the present? For gainful guys like you and me, It still can be extremely pleasant.
Have we not Women, Wine and Song - A gleeful trio to my thinking; So blithely we can get along With laughing, loving, eating, drinking.
" Said he: "Dear Boy, it may be so, But I'm fed up with war and worry; I would escape this world of woe, Of wrath and wrong, of hate and hurry.
I fain would gain the peace of mind Of Lamas on Thibetan highlands, Or maybe sanctuary find With beach-combers on coral islands.
" Said I: "Dear Boy, don't go so far: Just live a life of simple being; Forgetting all the ills that are, Be satisfied with hearing, seeing.
The sense of smell and taste and touch Can bring you bliss in ample measure: If only you don't think too much, Your programme can be packed with pleasure.
"But do not try to probe below This fairy film of Nature's screening; Look on it as a surface show, Without a purpose of a meaning.
Take no account of social strife, And dread no coming cataclysm: Let your philosophy of life Be what I call: EXTERNALISM.
The moon shines down with borrowed light, So savants say - I do not doubt it.
Suffice its silver trance my sight, That's all I want to know about it.
A fig for science - 'how' and 'why' Distract me in my happy dreaming: Through line and form and colour I Am all content with outward seeming.
" The Greatest Writer of to-day (I would have loved to call him Willie), looked wry at me and went his way - I think he thought me rather silly.
Maybe I am, but I insist My point of view will take some beating: Don't mock this old Externalist - The pudding's proof is in the eating.

Poem by
Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - ExternalismEmail Poem | Create an image from this poem

Poems are below...

Top Robert William Service Poems

Analysis and Comments on Externalism

Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem Externalism here.