LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of The Old Roller Towel by Bert Leston Taylor (1866-1921). This was the Weekly Poetry project for February 27 – March 6, 2011.
http://www.archive.org/download/old_roller_towel_1103_librivox/oldrollertowel_taylor_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=1m 40s (mp3@64kb)
The Old Roller Towel
How dear to this heart is the old roller towel
Which fond recollection presents to my view.
It hung like a pall on the wall of the washroom,
And gathered the grime of the linotype crew.
The sink and the soap and the lye that stood by it
Remain; but the towel is gone past recall.
O tempora! Also, O mores! Sic transit
The time-honored towel that creaked on the wall.
The grimy old towel, the slimy old towel,
The tacky old towel that hung on the wall.
Now hangs in the washroom a huge roll of paper—
The old printer’s towel we’ll never see more.
The new (see directions) is “used like a blotter,”
And crumpled and scattered in wads on the floor.
And often, when drying my hands in this fashion,
The tears of remembrance will gather and fall,
And I sigh (though I’m not what you’d call sentimental)
For the classic old towel that propped up the wall.
The sainted old towel, the tainted old towel,
The gooey old towel that hung on the wall.
This week’s poem can be found here.