For me best a paperback:
No good hard boards,
No slick dust jacket that absorbs
The unpredicted inevitable knocks and tears.
Rather the words writ in a rush
Hastened to publication,
The immediate cheap paper
Not worth the saving:
The leftbehind vacationhouse detritus;
The not quite worth packing for home;
The someone else’s freshmanyear surveyclass albatross,
Borne till it could be misplaced in a move
To wash up not yet loved
In beachcomber thriftstores of the mind
In Simi Valley Marin Moscow or Iowa City
Priced to sell
With four neat Roman Xs
Stamped across the pagetops.
put his hat of felt on
put his pants and belt on
and his shoes of leather
meet for any weather.
His outfit put together
no hesitation whether
he should go outside—
Aye! I shall! He cried!
And with furious stride
went out through the wide
open front door.
Never yet before
had traveler set out
with fewer pangs of doubt
and such a shout!
As a poet was brash
His lines rushed out in a lengthy and seemingly unstoppable torrent
And his rhymes were abhorrent.
Wrote verse difficult and profound
The fact that even he couldn’t figure it out
Should suffice to remove any doubt.
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
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.
Posted in biography, character, doggerel, epigram, Lives of the Poets, poem |
Tagged clerihew, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edward Lear, Ezra Pound, Lives of the Poets, Odgen Nash, poetry |
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.
(and in London,
which disgraced itself,
and he left later,
O London town’s a town of stink,
A town of Wells and Bennett
Where once old Shaw has said “’tis so”
No man dares speak again’ it.
A man may labour 20 years
I’ th’ vineyard of the min’
But the grapes o’ filthy London town
They make a bitter wine.
A man may labour 30 years
I’ th’ brickyard of the soul
Or make as grand a difference
By pissin’ in a hole.
O London town, O London town,
I’ll see thee never more
Till all thy murdered artists march
Triumphant home from war,
Till all thy streets be paved wi’ gold
Beneath an azure sky,
And Bloomsbury be buried
And the Lakes have all gang dry.