The Serenity of the Golf Course


This week’s poem by Bert Leston Taylor was written about 90 years ago. Its title “Far from the M.C.” references a line in Thomas Gray’s poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” Gray’s poem was parodied in two earlier posts.

Taylor, a revered Chicago Tribune columnist, often had one eye on Chicago politics and the other on golf. He was a good friend of “Chick” Evans. The contrast Taylor sketches in the poem between the tranquility of the golf course and rowdiness of politics refers of course to an earlier time. The golf course still offers the possibility of “ecstasy.” Maybe today’s politicians need to play more golf.


The Thrasher, on a leafless bough
High in a maple tree,
Pours forth, as only he knows how,
A song of ecstasy.

The sunbeams thro’ the branches sift
Upon the putting green,
Aloft the fleecy cloudlets drift,
The morning is serene.

In town strong men are in the heat
Of party politics;
The air is filled with “Lie” and “Cheat,”
And other verbal tricks.

The thrasher sings for song’s own sake;
I share his ecstasy.
I have a longish putt to make,
And hole it for a three.

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