Not exactly poetic literature, but I was scanning through one of those Google digitized books of old stamp magazines and pulled out this poem from 1914. It's almost 100 years old, so you do have to account for some language adjustments, but I thought it might still be of enough interest to some at SCF to post:
THE TRAIL OF A POSTAGE STAMP, By J. B. CHITTENDEN. Let the man after money risk his soul, And pile up dollars roll on roll; Let the lover of etchings rave and rant Of beauty he finds in old Rembrandt; Let the bookworm bore through ancient lore; And science search from shore to shore; The man for me is the graceless scamp. Off on the trail of a postage stamp.
Cancelled, discarded, faded and torn; Cast in a barrel, lost and worn; Back in the old desk, off with the junk, For fifty years in grandma's trunk; Up in the attic in dusty bags, On the closet floor with dirty rags; Boxed in cellars, dark and damp; Off on the trail of a postage stamp.
Discovered, recovered, cleaned and framed, Heralded, glorified, named and famed, From country to country thy praises will ring, Sold once for a penny, now prized by a king; So low was thy fortune, so high is thy rank, All due to the work of the postage stamp crank; With patience to guide him and science for lamp, Off on the trail of a postage stamp.
Worn out, neglected, deprived of the light, Like the old postage stamp we are lost in the night. All service forgotten with scarce concealed scorn. Our treasure is turned into cash on the morn. Our one hope: some angel collector of such, "Faithful in small things, deserving of much," May land us at last in a glorified camp. Off on the trail of a postage stamp. —Philatelic Gazette.
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."