talent, three fifths fake,
out from the valley of the snake,
with earring, cape, and red-forked beard,
he sniffed around, and then he sneered:
it’s time to toss the live grenade,
there’s too much art that’s retrograde,
and so he formed the Modern’s pose—
and poetry became like prose.
But after all the fame and treason,
the arrogance, and smug unreason,
his thoughts grew much less doctrinaire
and crashed into a dark despair.
He called his work a “botch” — “not art,”
lacking form, and lacking heart—
and cried out loud and cried it long:
“Always, always, I’ve been wrong!”
Copyright © William E.
Baer, all rights reserved