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Stephen Dobyns: The Poet’s Disregard

Once more Old Anonymous picks up his pen.
What shall he write about this time?
The eternal verities have turned out
less than eternal. Once again endless love

has ended. He ponders composing an ode
to his long time sidekick Death, but as his 
own departure draws near their friendship
has grown problematic. The pen of the poet

hangs in mid-air like an arrested rocket.
The world in a grain of sand, the worm
in the heart of the rose—the old subjects
in slinky gowns execute their turns along

the runway of his imagination. At times,
Anonymous thinks, it’s necessary to wait,
and then wait some more. Clocks gobble
minutes like salted nuts as today’s struggle

between the brutal and pragmatic flails away
a stone’s throw from the poet’s disregard,
by the glare of the burning library,
beneath the shadow of the deserted school.

“The Poet’s Disregard” from The Day’s Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech, copyright 2016 by Stephen Dobyns, BOA Editions, Ltd.

3 comments on “Stephen Dobyns: The Poet’s Disregard

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    December 8, 2021

    “Clocks gobble
    minutes like salted nuts as today’s struggle

    between the brutal and pragmatic flails away” ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane Martin
    December 8, 2019

    Good poem, but I tend to agree with Virginia Woolf who said, “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them,was often a woman.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sarah Gordon
    December 8, 2019

    Like this very much. Met Dobyns many years ago in Georgia. Very nice man.

    Liked by 1 person

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