A Psalm of Freudian Life

By Franklin Pierce Adams 1881–1960 Franklin Pierce Adams
Tell me not in mormonful numbers
      “Life is but an empty dream!”
To a student of the slumbers
      Things are never what they seem.

Life is yearning and suppression;
      Life is that to be enjoyed;
Puritanical discretion
      Was not spoke by Dr. Freud.

Deep enjoyment, and not sorrow,
      Is our destined end or way;
But to dream, that each to-morrow
      Finds us Freudier than to-day.

Sleep is long, and dreams are straying,
      And our hearts, though they may falter,
Still, like sexiphones, are playing
      Wedding marches to the altar.

In the universal battle,
      In the seraglio of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle—
      Beat your husband—or your wife.

Trust no dame, however pleasant!
      Leave the dead ones on the shelf!
Act—act in the living present!
      Nothing matters but Yourself.

Wives of great men all remind us
      We can make our lives a serial,
And, departing, leave behind us
      Biographical material.

Stories that perhaps another
      Sailing o’er life’s Freudian sea—
A forlorn and dream-racked brother—
      Reading, might say, “How like me!”

Let us then be up and doing,
      With a heart for any mate;
Now eluding, nor pursuing,
      Learn to individuate.

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Poet Franklin Pierce Adams 1881–1960

Subjects Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Philosophy, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


Franklin P. Adams, or F. P. A. as he was known to his readers, was best known for his witty and satirical column "The Conning Tower," which was syndicated in the New York Tribune, the New York World, the New York Herald Tribune and the New York Post. In his column, to which he had a cult-like following, Adams wrote limericks, puns, and satirical prose to dissect political events, review books and plays, and parody the age. A . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Philosophy, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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