Thanksgiving blog: Thank you


In the spirit of Thanksgiving: the last few stanzas of Kenneth Koch’s wonderful early poem “Thank You.”

 

***

 

. . . Thank you for the chance to run a small hotel

In an elephant stopover in Zambezi,

But I do not know how to take care of guests, certainly they would all leave soon,

After seeing blue lights out the windows and rust on their iron beds –

I’d rather run a bird-house in Jamaica:

Those people come in, the birds, they do not care how things are kept up . . .

It’s true that Zambezi proprietorship would be exciting,

with people getting off elephants and coming into my hotel,

But as tempting as it is I cannot agree.

And thank you for this offer of the post of referee

For the Danish wrestling championship – I simply do not feel qualified . . .

 

But the fresh spring air has been swabbing my mental decks

Until, although prepared for fight, still I sleep on land.

Thank you for the ostriches. I have not yet had time to pluck them,

But I am sure they will be delicious, adorning my plate at sunset,

My tremendous plate, and the plate

Of the offers to all my days. But I cannot fasten my exhilaration to the sun.

 

And thank you for the evening of the night on which

I fell off my horse in the shadows. That was really useful.

 


 

 

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