I Dabble in Poetry

So, i helped a friend with an assignment. For school. Did I say “helped?” Cuz i meant to say that i wrote a poem for a friend. For a class. A Brit-Lit class.

I flipped through his Norton Anthology of English Literature, looking for inspiration, and ran across an old favorite: Endymion, by John Keats. A while later, i had a poem about the fleetingness of life and the erosion-resistant qualities of literature staring back at me.

Check it out.

It’s ironic, to think that
a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

So said the boy-poet who died early.

But, can we deny?

As we sit in our quiet bowers at night,
while wives and kids and what-have-you wallow in a sleep
surely full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing,
we stare at pages and screens,
and labor fruitlessly to gather up loveliness in our arms,
like some late-summer harvest of grapes.

We struggle with it, flail our appendages, weep,
Plant our heads on the desks, and nearly fade into darkness.
But, just as the sinewy fawn escapes the graying wolf,
The gravity of his words escape us.

And we wither, of course.
Bones become brittle, and little hairs begin to grow
where they shouldn’t,
and we wonder what happened to the whole “beauty forever” thing.
But look there!
His words have endured. Grown more weighty, even.
With each new generation, their loveliness increases,
like the colors in the kaleidoscopes we used to spin as kids.
And though we tried,
we never really grasped them, did we?

And those things of terrible beauty and power
are a joy forever,
and then we pass into nothingness.


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