George Murray, Poet


An unpublished poem entitled, “CATALOGUE”, written, crafted, perfected, and finalized, by George Murray in the six weeks between 1/18/1986–2/25/1986.  I suspect that on the 43rd day, he rested…  🙂

I love this one in particular (and I think my siblings will agree), because it is a wry observation of life’s required, mundane, record-keeping activities, and is also comically auto-biographical, of our father. Anyone who knew George Murray, will recall how he loved to “catalogue” his world, and comment on the cataloging of others, throughout his life, until the very end.

NOTE: since his father and mother hailed from Scotland, and England, respectively, and due to his preference for an older version of the English language (post-Shakespeare and prior to modern-American), George Murray would often use the classic and/or British-English spellings and pronunciations of certain words (sometimes in public, to the chagrin of his children).  Thus “CATALOGUE” instead of “catalog” as the title of this poem…

The copy I have of “CATALOGUE” looks like a photo-copy of the original, which had been hand-typed, with worn metal, punching through a ribbon in need of replacement, on the manual typewriter I recall him using in my childhood. The page was folded in three, with one of two creases running through the sixth line of the poem (“and pounders of flesh”).  Perhaps he intended to mail this copy to someone, or he had simply folded it to fit it more easily inside his catalogue…

CATALOGUE - poem by George Murray


A keeper of records,
I record my consumption
of kilowat(t) hours
and fossil fuel,
my debts to plumbers
and pounders of flesh,
my catalogue
of needs and compulsions.

An accordian file
holds birth and death together,
joins marriage and divorce
and houses(,) coupons,
deeds, warranties,
wills and testaments.

At any time now
I will learn who I am.

Copyright ©George Murray, 1986



This entry was published on July 5, 2014 at 9:09 am. It’s filed under About George Murray, Memories & Memorials, Poems & Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “CATALOGUE

  1. Awesome poem Russ!! Got some serious creative blood in you! Never knew your Dad was so this poem..”At any time now I will learn who I am” Great!


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