Meeting of Minds: A Class Discussion of Kafka's "The Hunger Artist" and Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily"

Henry Gonshak
Montana Tech-UM

[Editor's Note: An English professor at Montana Tech and editor for this journal, Henry Gonshak wrote this sonnet while a graduate teaching assistant in the 1980s. Like Emily Dickinson, he stuck the finished product at the bottom of his underwear drawer. We are pleased to be able to assure our readers that the poem isn't being published posthumously, unlike the work of "the Belle of Amherst."]


"'The Hunger Artist' is about a guy
Who sits inside a cage; now let's move on.
No way the dude's a poet, man; you lie.
If Kafka meant that then he's sure far gone.
When Emily sleeps with a corpse that's sick,
And I do NOT watch too much damn TV!"


"These thought but unsaid words cut to the quick,
As angry, sleepy eyes stare back at me.
And then I know I AM the Hunger Artist,
Blocking the way to the menagerie.
Is not this destiny the all-time hardest,
To live life as a proud nonentity?
And now it's ten 'til one, and I'm alone.
Outside, the sparrows sing; lawnmowers moan."

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