Grey Towns

Why, in the relentless progression,
the inexorable stream of addition
and of population
and of passing out of life,
in the toil and ache of love and grief
and the twisted complication of society,
why among all this, are there so many
places we’ve created that lack beauty?
Why are there towns we visit,
in brief passing during travel,
that bring on an inexplicable yearning
for the comfort of home
or a familiar charming view
of anything pleasant to the eye,
because the town is so dismal, so trivial,
that just standing in it and looking around
turns the heart grey and sad
and urges the visitor to flee,
to make haste and get out
because those so unfortunate to live in it
cannot possibly be happy.
Each building sees regulars,
inhabitants or employees,
who waste the value of their lives
on insignificant work or pastime
until they die and are buried
in the dismal town’s ugly cemetery.
And the visitor leaves the town unsettled,
a feeling which fades the farther removed
he becomes, but which he thinks of
sometimes and wonders at,
wonders at the reason for human creation
that is so unpleasant,
when in all the unpleasantness
we have no choice but to experience,
we could at least attempt
to make all human creation beautiful.

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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