I sometimes think I shall study to be a lama,
I shall live by the difficult principles of Zen,
And devote my leisure moments to the Japanese drama,
But I don’t know when.
I sometimes think I shall lock myself in an attic
And live on bread and water discreetly mixed,
Till life grows clear and my thoughts are pure and ecstatic,
But the time’s not fixed.
I sometimes think I shall go to the wide white beaches
And lie in the sun till I cease to snuffle and cough;
There I shall learn what the palm tree says and the wild wave teaches.
But I put it off.
I sometimes think I shall learn to play the sackbut,
Or do research on the crystal structure of zinc.
In fact, I do very little but lie on my back, but
I sometimes think.
THE NEW YORKER
MAY 2, 1959