I resolve this year to polish my rhymes.
I’ve dabbled a bit, but now comes the time
To go on a journey to find my Ithika.
And do lots more writing, become prolificker.
So where shall I start? It can’t be that hard.
Something more serious: odes avant garde.
Iambic pentameters writ by the yard,
Taking my cue from the works of the Bard.
I’ll be versed, yet diverge from Robert Frost.
I’ll avoid Dante’s wood, for I mustn’t get lost.
Shun e e cummings and C P Cavafy,
Not splash out on grasshoppers, or creatures giraffey.
Shall I compare thee to a crowd of daffodils
Or wearily plod homeward on a summer’s day?
The best lines, it seems, have been distilled
By Wordsworth, Shakespeare, or by Thomas Gray.
Abandon all rhymes and write in free verse:
To wind up Robert Frost by winding down the tennis net?
Or weigh up words as Billy Collins weighs his dog
And find myself wandering in strange and distant neighborhoods?
Researching the Collected Works to see what’s left
You come to the conclusion that February 23 has never been used.
And daffodils may be exhausted, but you prefer lupins.
But nothing rhymes with lupins, and anyway,
They were forever trashed by Monty Python.
No carboot sale of metaphors or other tropes
Will ever give you stuff you’d want to keep
In treasuries of gold. You’re losing hope
For every catchy topic, trite or deep
Has been hoovered up by Collins
Or by Wendy Cope.
What’s left: the dregs, those words old Thomas Stearns
Had never got the better of, and spurned?
No – this adventure needs new forms discerned,
Unhurriedly, for that’s one thing I’ve learned.
Forget roads less travelled, or tracks overgrown.
Those paths don’t exist till you trample through
On journeys most splendid to regions unknown.
And that is exactly what I’m going to do.
© Peter Young 2015
Red Sailing Ship courtesy of Tjack cards, Bangkok