Louis MacNeice

To the Public

Why hold that poets are so sensitive?
A thickskinned grasping lot who filch and eavesdrop,
Who enjoy ourselves at other men’s expense.
Who, legislators or not, ourselves are lawless,
We do not need your indulgence, much less your pity;
With fewer qualms, we have rather more common sense
Than your Common Man, also of course more freedom,
With our burglars’ and gunmen’s fingers, our green fingers,
So, crude though we are, we get to times and places
And, saving your presence or absence, will continue
Throwing our dreams and guts in people’s faces.