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After-Dinner Talk with an Old Reprobate
Ginny Lowe Connors


after Mark Twain

Give me fresh air and I’ll introduce it
            to the stink of a fine cigar.
Give me another drink.
            Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.
Give me adversity and I will bear it
            as long as it belongs to someone else.
Give me a book people praise but do not read
             and I’ll show you a classic.
Give me America anytime.
            We have the best government money can buy.
Give me laughter,
            nothing can withstand it.
Give me good books, good friends,
a lazy conscience. That is the ideal life.


© by Ginny Lowe Connors.
Used here with the author’s permission.




Ginny Lowe Connors is an English teacher in West Hartford, Connecticut, where she serves as that city’s Poet Laureate. Author of two published poetry collections and editor of several anthologies, Ginny also runs a small poetry press, Grayson Books. Her accolades include the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, the Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition, and numerous prizes sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies–including their coveted Founders Award. Learn more about Ginny at 


Post New Comment:
Nabby Dog:
As a lifelong Mark Twain enthusiast I am especially grateful for today's poem. The choice of Twain's quotes and the sequence in which they are presented are both perfect. This is the "ideal" poem to honor someone whose insight and wit continue to enrich us all.
Posted 11/30/2015 12:13 PM
Captures Twain, and the human experience.
Posted 11/30/2015 10:26 AM
Hahaha! I like this a lot!
Posted 11/30/2015 08:28 AM
This poem made me smile and nod.
Posted 11/30/2015 07:11 AM
i like this.
Posted 11/30/2015 03:05 AM

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