Sale by Theodore Roethke


For sale: by order of the remaining heirs
Who ran up and down the big centre stairs
The what-not, the settee, the Chippendale chairs
—And an attic of horrors, a closet of fears.
The furniture polished and polished so grand,
A stable and paddock, some fox-hunting land,
The summer house shaped like a village band stand
—And grandfather’s sinister hovering hand.
The antimacassar for the sofa in red,
The Bechstein piano, the four-poster bed,
The library used as a card room instead
—And some watery eyes in a Copley head.
The dining room carpet dyed brighter than blood,
The table where everyone ate as he should,
The sideboard beside which a tall footman stood
—And a fume of decay that clings fast to the wood.
The hand-painted wall-paper, finer than skin,
The room that the children had never been in,
All the rings and the relics encrusted with sin
—And the taint in a blood that was running too thin.

Theodore Roethke

Sample poems written by Russell Boyle

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from
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