It is a shame that some of our greatest poets passed on before the advent of stamp collecting. One imagines that Shakespeare would have embraced the hobby wholeheartedly, and might have devoted at least a sonnet or two to praising his collection. Still, some poetry pertaining to philately exists, and we have to be grateful for that.
When I Inspect My Stamps
— Harry V. Callahan, 1934
My mind now often wanders to childhood dreams of yore,
To fancy boons and other things the future held in store,
To youthful joy and pleasure, the play of kings and champs,
But my fondest reverie’s eclipsed, when I inspect my stamps.
I used to dream of treasures, in many, many forms,
Blissful sunshine, and of Paradise, of tempests, and of storms,
Of girls, and little angels, of millionaires and tramps,
But my grandest musings fade away, when I inspect my stamps.
My thoughts revert to youthful days, and where I used to swim,
To where my cup of pleasure was filled just to the brim,
To when I did collect old guns, tin soldiers, round their camps,
But my fondest recollection fails, when I inspect my stamps.
I ponder on that Isle so green, as well as other climes,
Depression and recovery, and the coming better times,
On stocks and bonds, yes, works of art, and many dizzy vamps,
But relax into forgetfulness, when I inspect my stamps.
Fine clothes and jewels are nice to have, great pelf and all o’ that,
Autos, horses, little dogs, old friends to have a chat,
All these I’ll yield to “Father Time” just e’re I climb the ramps,
But I’ll call out, “One moment sir! till I inspect my stamps.”
Looking for stamps for your collection? Be sure to check out the Famous Stamps webstore.