Lament For The Makers

Sometimes I feel guilty about having nothing much here to say
Even though there isn’t that much traffic anyway,
But I’m into “ars poetica” and so for some variety
I wrote a poem for you about a Dead Poets Society.

Only old Anonymous
Can be said to survive with us.
Homer made his final out.
Stevens snuffed it, you can’t doubt.
Dickinson rode off in a carriage,
The Brownings died, so did their marriage.
Keats died before taking wives.
Eliot didn’t have nine lives.
Tennyson got on a boat.
Wordsworth wandered, no longer wrote.
Yeats became an honored guest.
Plath was very overstressed.
Shakespeare wants hands off his bones.
Herbert trusted Christ atones.
Lots committed suicide.
The poets of the past all died.

It is not in their earthly homes
That they can read the future’s tomes.
They may see how they played their part
In the great history of art,
But with successors–better, worse–
They do not directly converse.
You bards who later come along
And point out how they all were wrong,
All just a shallow generation
From inside your great conversation,
You who brag of these modern ages:
They do not read your mortal pages.

It is the children not yet here
To whom your voice will ring too clear.
The early will blur with the late
Within your conversations great.
They’ll read with sublunary eyes
The way that you apologize
For all that your ancestors praised,
Angry at the way you were raised.
And each will raise a mortal hand,
Spout answers, but not understand.


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