March 4th, 2005


All right, I've got it out of my system now, I promise.

One last poem from my college years. In the spring of 1974, I took an advanced English class in Poetry Writing, to which I submitted these poems I’ve been posting. I only wrote a couple of things especially for the class; most of my poetry has no excuse.

Anyway, I found my tastes in poetry at odds with most of my classmates’. They were mostly of the school that produced, in Dorothy Sayers’ words, “epithets staggered about the page.” (Looking back on their work, I like it better now than then; looking back on my own, I can only say that I like mine less.) The differences in our outlooks produced some odd readings. This poem they insisted on reading as a political allegory (to my surprise) – but then, it was 1974, and you know Boomers and their conspiracy theories.


In order to form a more perfect house,
We must put gloves on every mouse,
And for our staid, conservative cat
A sporty, new Tyrolean hat.
The dog must wear a brass-rimmed monocle
In order to read the Morning Chronicle,
And our parakeet, though never so vain
Shall whistle us “Heigh-diddle-diddle” again.
And for our little baby sweet,
A chocolate musk ox for him to eat –
It grieves me to make the neighbors so sad;
You don’t think, my dear, we’re really mad?

Collapse )