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O Gatsby! My Gatsby!

March 29th, 2011 5 comments

O Gatsby! My Gatsby!

O GATSBY! my GATSBY! Our sixteen years are done;
Your body weather’d every wrack, except for this last one;
You beat back Cushings, conquered couches- yet squirrels are exulting,
Your stature gone, the back yard teems with critters now cavorting:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the shedding fur of brown,
Where on the tile my Gatsby lies,
Fallen cold and down.

O Gatsby! my Gatsby! rise up and meet the days;
Rise up—for you the milk bone’s flung—for you the beagle bays;
For you steak bits and chicken strips—for you the couches clamor;
For you they call, for your frayed, worn fur; their lonely cushions langour;

Here Gatsby! dear puppy!
Your tongue lolls from your head;
I’ll miss you always underfoot,
Now that you’re cold and dead.

My Gatsby does not answer, his ribs don’t rise and fall;
(So deaf was he, were he alive, he would not hear my call;)
The house is seal’ed, safe and sound, the mailman’s locked without;
Your honored foe – tomorrow here – Of that I have no doubt!

Exult, O fences, and rest easy, carpets!
As I fight back a tear,
And warm the couch my Gatsby wore,
Fallen cold and dear.

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With thanks to Walt Whitman, who wrote O Captain! My Captain! in honor of Abraham Lincoln.

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