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Externalism Analysis



Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 4

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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.






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