Imagine the centuries of eyes
Herrick’s To Anthea, or Jonson’s To Celia
cast down, scanning right to left,
lower, licking vowels.
Loitering at the left ankle
upon the final thee of each.
Spread open, the poem yields itself
watching as we gaze.
The while, it asks for two things:
that we Hear and Listen.
Perhaps thirdly, for Time –
Let time sharpen our dullness, as
only time can.
For this is poetry’s only promise, that
we will never return
to find it gone.
Oh, to possess the better ones.
Yet, indiscriminate and wanton
these favorites seem unfaithful.
But remember this:
Good poetry never marries.
It retains the right to court.
To grant, never spurn, attention.
To lend, never criticize, understanding.
To love, never ask, to be loved.
No wonder good readers fall.
Convinced that they were in some way
worthy of the charms
of good poetry.
© Ciprianowords Inc. 2006