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Collected Poems

The Disadvantages of Being Dead

The Disadvantages of Being Dead

On reading that Sir Ernest Fisk, Managing Director of Amalgamated Wireless, considers it may be possible before long to get into communication with the dead.

According to Sir Ernest Fisk,
Death is attended with grave risk:
Henceforth when sufferers quit this life
(leaving the duns, the job, the wife),
When weary souls obtain release
They cannot hope to rest in peace.
Ah, no! Sir Ernest and his friends
Will probe beyond the earth's far ends
Armed with a radio transmitter,
And send them (though the thought's more bitter
Than death itself) tidings of battle,
Turf intelligence, tittle-tattle,
Until no privacy is left
To those who are of life bereft,
And the deep silence of the tomb
Resounds like Bedlam's common-room.

Sir Ernest, hear this heartfelt cry!
We who are about to die
Salute … and ask you not to try.