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The Donkey
G. K. Chesterton


When fishes flew and forests walked,
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry,
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
Of all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient, crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

This poem is in the public domain.



Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936) was a writer, philosopher, and arts critic. Born in London, he attended art school, intending to become an illustrator, and also studied literature, but failed to graduate with a degree in either field. He continued to draw and write, added acting and debate to his repertoire of talents and activities as he grew into a significant name in British literature. His Father Brown series was the inspiration for the popular PBS television series. A close friend of Hilaire Belloc, G. K. was known for his sense of humor.



Post New Comment:
Perfect choice for the day~~so moving!
Posted 03/24/2024 11:12 PM
Wilda Morris:
A wonderful poem, especially for Palm Sunday!
Posted 03/24/2024 05:20 PM
An interesting pause to actually consider the donkey - today, Palm Sunday.
Posted 03/24/2024 11:09 AM
Rhyming couplets rock; great first line.
Posted 03/24/2024 11:09 AM
This is a beautiful poem told from the point-of-view of the humble, oppressed donkey. How interesting, with many fine lines, including "ears like errant wings".
Posted 03/24/2024 10:35 AM
Larry Schug:
MY,my what a fine poem. The last stanza is truly inspired.There are a few non-fiction books starring donkeys. I suggest any of them.
Posted 03/24/2024 09:58 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Our long-eared beasts of burden, burro and mule alike, have for millennia, been used, abused, derided, and far under appreciated. God Bless Mr. Chesterton for making this all too clear.
Posted 03/24/2024 08:49 AM

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