Last on Earth

Dannie Abse

Dannie Abse

Title: Dr. Daniel Abse
Birth Name: Daniel Abse

Born: September 22, 1923
Birthplace: Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom
Died: September 28, 2014

Occupation: Author, Physician, and Poet
Profile: Best known for Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve.

Number of Quotes: 7

Are all men in disguise except those crying?
Encounter at a Greyhound Bus Station.

I know the colour rose, and it is lovely,
But not when it ripens in a tumour;
And healing greens, leaves and grass, so springlike,
In limbs that fester are not springlike.

Pathology of Colours


At 66 Sandringham Crescent
an upright piano was being eased down
a long flight of stairs by three men
all wearing off-white overalls.
Backward, staccato, two stepped
till the taller of the two men
began to collapse in slow

slow slow motion
and the piano
to the hallway's rising floor
crashing its memories of music:
simple tunes such as 3 Blind Mice,
as well as great meaningful sonatas
of profundity and faraway,
into a scattered anarchic jigsaw
of free-loving volatile
meaningless sounds
till the stricken piano
lost its memory entirely.

After the ambulance arrived (too late)
one removal man lit a cigarette
and sensing the wide-awake stare
of the householder

tapped the grey ash, with great delicacy,
into the cupped hollow of his left hand.

Running Late

Praying is another way of singing.
You plant in the tree the soul of lemons.
You plant in the gardens the spirit of roses.

Song for Dov Shamir

So in the simple blessing of a rainbow,
In the bevelled edge of a sunlit mirrow,
I have seen visible, Death's artifact
Like a soldier's ribbon on a tunic tacked.

Pathology of Colours

The theme of Death is to Poetry what Mistaken Identity is to Drama.

You have a beautiful classy mind but I find you physically unattractive.
Welsh Retrospective

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