My Michaelmas Room

My Michaelmas room is a battlefield

Where I put up resistance

Every morning

Roll call comes late at eleven

When, giddy with yesterday’s smog, I rise

Only to fall back in line

With the skeleton crew, those roaming pirates

Who hail no good thing master.

Slowly, my legs shrink with atrophy

And my ASOS jeans fit…


Goes the metal motor

Our crew zips away

Off, off, into the high seas,

Only this time the danger is clear:

Beware the jabberwocky, my dear,

Whose craven mouth

Awaits the slothful, the banal,

And claws out hearts of fear.



Today I realize…the POWER of the Cambridge University Library! If I can find the limited edition copy (that is, out of 326 copies in circulation, 300 numbered and 26 lettered) of Beckett’s ‘Beginning to End’ that feature Edward Gorey’s drawings, the UL must be powerful. Quite. Rather. With long arms. Tentacles. And they have one precious precious copy in the Rare Books Room! My senses are tingling.

By the way, it’s also Gorey’s 88th birthday today. Thank you Google Doodle.

By Edward Gorey