I always like to credit Philip Larkin (possibly my favourite modern poet) with my narrow escape from a threatened career of lucrative pomposity as a lawyer.
In England the final stage of qualifying as a barrister (a 'trial lawyer' to my American friends) is a period of apprenticeship known as a 'pupillage'. Pupillage openings are very limited; and in my Bar School year they were especially hard to come by (for reasons which I won't go into here): I only got one interview, and failed it fairly spectacularly. (I did subsequently undertake pupillage a year or two later, but ran out of bank loan before I could make the transition to independent practice.)
In the waiting room before the interview I was leafing through a copy of The Spectator (a favourite English political/literary weekly magazine - sometimes obnoxiously right-wing, but compellingly well-written). In the regular literary competition on the back pages (I have entered myself a handful of times, but without garnering any laurels) in that issue contributors had been challenged to produce a clerihew celebrating a great writer. One of the winning efforts printed was this:
Would close the blinds to let the dark in.
He always had room
A brilliant example of the form. A brilliant summation of the man and his work. And a brilliant image (I love the idea of 'letting the dark in').
I laughed until I cried. I had a stupid grin on my face throughout the interview, and was constantly on the brink of corpsing. That, or so I like to believe, is the reason why I didn't get that pupillage, didn't become a barrister.
Maybe it ain't so, but...... print the legend.