Homer in a Dudley Accent

Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal 8.9-24

Eight years back about this time

I came to live in this hazy city

To work in a building caked with grime

Teaching the classics to Midland students;

Virgil, Livy, the usual round,

Principal parts and the lost digamma;

And to hear the prison-like lecture room resound

To Homer in a Dudley accent.

But Life was comfortable, life was fine

With two in a bed and patchwork cushions

And checks and tassels on the washing-line,

A gramophone, a cat, and the smell of jasmine.

The steaks were tender, the films were fun,

The walls were striped like a Russian ballet,

There were lots of things undone

But nobody cared, for the days were early.

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