2.27.2013

The Poet Retells a Certain Debate

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
An argument they had, those two
The poet and the sage had an argument;
'A heated discussion', some said or knew
But that debate is not its denouement;

The sage had said, of which we dread
To say to one who breathes of poetry
Who breathed or heard or read
That poetry was a form of femininity?

'Which is to say,' he apologized
'The poet does not at all initiate
Not that his work is trivialized'
But such trivial words came far too late;

The poet scoffed, or was it coughed --
And considered the proper way to retaliate
I suppose if war, war-clothes be doffed
And full-alarm be made the state;

'If I may be excused to take offense,
Let it be that falsehoods were spoken
Or very least a full pretence
That vows or oaths were broken.

'I need no such excuse to words obtuse
And ill-formed in their conception
To return a form of rough abuse
To bring wrath to perfection.

'It may be so, as all poets may know
That a poet must work with inspiration
But this work does not work below
It is a work of perspiration.'

The sage replied, and as might sighed
Perhaps noting labor and conception
As to childbearing each severally applied
So poets might know correction;

'It is a conscious work of mind
Of mind and soul and spirit
Though it and conception are alike in kind
Henceforth it is not near it.

'A child is made, as might be said
When the watchmen are all sleeping
But the poem is hewed forth from the head
Only when his vigil he's keeping.'

Still in mind, the sage in kind
Said that as with all works created
It may in thinking action refined
It is still not initiated.

'Because the poem is superfluous
It cannot be but a creative spasm
The builder fills the gap with truss
To bridge, to master, to fill the chasm.

'The poet may keep silence today
And tomorrow his wordless stance retract
For mere reaction could not stay
And then -- denouement -- stand and act.'

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