Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Birthday O. Henry !

O. Henry
Today is the birthday of an American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry. His short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. Presenting some poems : Being Poet
Nothing To Say
"You can tell your paper," the great man said,
"I refused an interview.
I have nothing to say on the question, sir;
Nothing to say to you."
And then he talked till the sun went down
And the chickens went to roost;
And he seized the collar of the poor young man,
And never his hold he loosed.
And the sun went down and the moon came up,
And he talked till the dawn of day;
Though he said, "On this subject mentioned by you,
I have nothing whatever to say."
And down the reporter dropped to sleep
And flat on the floor he lay;
And the last he heard was the great man's words,
"I have nothing at all to say."
Drop a Tear in This Slot
He who, when torrid Summer's sickly glare
Beat down upon the city's parched walls,
Sat him within a room scarce 8 by 9,
And, with tongue hanging out and panting breath,
Perspiring, pierced by pangs of prickly heat,
Wrote variations of the seaside joke
We all do know and always loved so well,
And of cool breezes and sweet girls that lay
In shady nooks, and pleasant windy coves
Will in that self-same room, with tattered quilt
Wrapped round him, and blue stiffening hands,
All shivering, fireless, pinched by winter's blasts,
Will hale us forth upon the rounds once more,
So that we may expect it not in vain,
The joke of how with curses deep and coarse
Papa puts up the pipe of parlor stove.
So ye
Who greet with tears this olden favorite,
Drop one for him who, though he strives to please
Must write about the things he never sees.
The Pewee
In the hush of the drowsy afternoon,
When the very wind on the breast of June
Lies settled, and hot white tracery
Of the shattered sunlight filters free
Through the unstinted leaves to the pied cool sward;
On a dead tree branch sings the saddest bard
Of the birds that be;
'Tis the lone Pewee.
Its note is a sob, and its note is pitched
In a single key, like a soul bewitched
To a mournful minstrelsy.
"Peewee, Pewee," doth it ever cry;
A sad, sweet minor threnody
That threads the aisles of the dim hot grove
Like a tale of a wrong or a vanished love;
And the fancy comes that the wee dun bird
Perchance was a maid, and her heart was stirred
By some lover's rhyme
In a golden time,
And broke when the world turned false and cold;
And her dreams grew dark and her faith grew cold
In some fairy far-off clime.
And her soul crept into the Pewee's breast;
And forever she cries with a strange unrest
For something lost, in the afternoon;
For something missed from the lavish June;
For the heart that died in the long ago;
For the livelong pain that pierceth so:
Thus the Pewee cries,
While the evening lies
Steeped in the languorous still sunshine,
Rapt, to the leaf and the bough and the vine
Of some hopeless paradise.
The Murderer
"I push my boat among the reeds;
I sit and stare about;
Queer slimy things crawl through the weeds,
Put to a sullen rout.
I paddle under cypress trees;
All fearfully I peer
Through oozy channels when the breeze
Comes rustling at my ear.
"The long moss hangs perpetually;
Gray scalps of buried years;
Blue crabs steal out and stare at me,
And seem to gauge my fears;
I start to hear the eel swim by;
I shudder when the crane
Strikes at his prey; I turn to fly
At drops of sudden rain.
"In every little cry of bird
I hear a tracking shout;
From every sodden leaf that's stirred
I see a face frown out;
My soul shakes when the water rat
Cowed by the blue snake flies;
Black knots from tree holes glimmer at
Me with accusive eyes.
"Through all the murky silence rings
A cry not born of earth;
And endless, deep, unechoing thing
That owns not human birth,
I see no colors in the sky
Save red, as blood is red;
I pray to God to still that cry
From pallid lips and dead.
"One spot in all that stagnant waste
I shun as moles shun light,
And turn my prow to make all haste
To fly before the night.
A poisonous mound hid from the sun,
Where crabs hold revelry;
Where eels and fishes feed upon
The Thing that once was He.
"At night I steal along the shore;
Within my hut I creep;
But awful stars blink through the door,
To hold me from my sleep.
The river gurgles like his throat,
In little choking coves,
And loudly dins that phantom note
From out the awful groves.
"I shout with laughter through the night:
I rage in greatest glee;
My fears all vanish with the light
Oh! splendid nights they be!
I see her weep; she calls his name;
He answers not, nor will;
My soul with joy is all aflame;
I laugh, and laugh, and thrill.
"I count her teardrops as they fall;
I flout my daytime fears;
I mumble thanks to God for all
These gibes and happy jeers.
But, when the warning dawn awakes,
Begins my wandering;
With stealthy strokes through tangled brakes,
A wasted, frightened thing.