You’re not a poet because of strung words
Together on row upon row again
Of blank verse or perhaps liberal rhyme.
‘Slam’ all you want, other poets wonder;
Your ignorance of couplets a blunder?
Yes! I speak harshly, but it’s no gross crime,
To point with honesty failed verse of thine.
No real poet discards upper case words;
Lets prose crawl on paper like listless worms.
You seek to free verse of those stern letters,
Sever away bleak capital fetters,
But it doesn’t sing of great speech sublime,
Rather, it sneaks of writing in spare time.
Wait! before you throw me in the icy Rhine;
It’s hard to put verse together in rhyme,
To make our dull words sound great all the time,
Hear them ring out loud, like a clear clock’s chime,
Heralding a poet’s summer prime.
Yet the sacred muses weep at your crime;
Your pentameter mangled thick like slime,
The subject not gilded in raiment fine;
Your bold ink font, crystal waters divine
Tastes bitter to the tongue, like brine.
A poet makes verbs tweet like morning birds,
But you don’t sing different from the herds,
And it all sounds like single parts of thirds.
Nay writing is not sepia, not black
Or even white, to do so make the poet alack
And go sail into the far sunset on a carrack.
Please, spare me the generic mix of kissing,
Tears and fears, such subjects are not missing,
I’ve heard so many times, I’m dismissing
You; (being the nineteenth lost love today!)
Instead, I shall sit here reminiscing,
Looking to Helicon’s mount missing,
Listening to the high Muses’ hissing.
They say, "I mock thee for thy false turn of phrase,
Not all poets must answer to the craze,
Do otherwise, or shall thou never blaze
But fall in a great swelling haze,
Like Milton’s fallen angel in olden days.
Come now; let’s endeavour to find the truth,
In doing so, close the gap in your roof,
And keep your page dry while you write,
So now that there are no more tears or trite
Your prose might be corrected to the right."
Still you wonder why I beseech the muses
To lend your hands the spirit of their uses?
Solve my rhyme, and spare me now, sweet reader,
I’m no senseless critic, treat me dearer,
I’d like to bring your words ever nearer,
To the heaven’s spring that’s ever clearer.
What makes a poet, who has that say?
When any can write a few lines fast in a day
And call them poetry, in skyward blaze
Who crowns the kings of words today,
And glorious our works in golden array?
To what whim we like rushes sway,
To be cut, and under the scythe blow away.
Ending on death and dust is no great hearse
Makes it no more meaningful than my verse,
A ‘diatribe’ that will make you adverse
Label this red in your rage, then rehearse,
Your lyric flare, knowing I am a curse
Because you know you’re a poet, and I am worse.
We Moderns no longer write from divine inspiration,
Or shape our bright laurels from Romantic revelation.
But Write for wraith-like dreams of public appreciation,
Or linger in the sole comfort of pure recreation.
Yet still sign in the margin of our work, our signature,
Our great shared concern is for the state of literature.