The Lives of the Poets

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Ogden Nash
As a poet was brash
His lines rushed out in a lengthy and seemingly unstoppable torrent
And his rhymes were abhorrent.

Ezra Pound
Wrote verse difficult and profound
The fact that even he couldn’t figure it out
Should suffice to remove any doubt.

Edward Lear
Was rather queer.
But of course, the word had a different meaning back then
So instead, one should simply say that he preferred men.

Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Died discontently
Aware that decent rhymes for Clerihew
Are, alas, very few.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
Was heard on occasion to say
That only the author of Euclid’s Elements
Had ever seen Beauty without habiliments.

 

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Ariel

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Later some said
You’d all along been practicing for dead
But I believe it wasn’t in you
To practice what you thought you knew;
You thought yourself wise and were
Already plotting your rise.

 

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Marvel his birthday away

(Dylan Marlais Thomas, born 27 October 1914)

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We summoned Dylan Thomas’s spirit;
He was more than a little bit drunk, we all could hear it.
But we were charmed he had chosen to honor us
And even inebriated, his voice was still quite sonorous.

 

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The fascination

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The fascination of what’s difficult
Worked out all right for you, it seems, old man,
As when Blavatsky’s esoteric cult
Helped you parse George’s automatic hand–

And who would doubt that Truth herself was caught
Dumbfounded in your raveled Celtic knot?

 

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