SJM ( / )

Confession Of A Non-Poet, E. B. White

'... it is common knowledge
That I have never
Received my
Accreditation papers
Admitting me to the ranks
Of American Poets.

Having lived my life
As a non-poet
Who occasionally breaks
Into song,
I have no wish
At this late hour
To change either
My status or my habits
Even if I were capable
Of doing so,
And I clearly am not.

The life of a non-poet
Is an agreeable one:
He feels no obligation
To mingle
With other writers of verse
To exchange sensitivities,
No compulsion
To visit the 'Y'
To read from
His own works,
No need to travel
The wine-and-cheese circuit,
Where the word 'poet'
Carries the aroma of magic
And ladies creep up
From behind
Carrying ballpoint pens
and Sprigs of asphodel.

At an early age,
It would appear,
I fell into questionable habits:
I liked to rhyme one word
With another,
Liked to fashion lines
That bore some relation
To other lines
In the same stanza,
Liked to proceed
In a strict,
Or almost strict,
Metrical manner.

This sort of thing
Is rare nowadays.
The poet of today
Is neither a lyricist
Nor a cutup,
He is a serious artist
Bent on expressing
An emotional thought
In a straightforward,
If sometimes
Uninteresting way...'

White introduced 'Poems and Sketches' with the above prose which I have put into a format not favored by EBW who liked the rhyme of things.

by Sidi J. Mahtrow

Comments (2)

A bit funny too.... This piece of thought is interesting. Anjana
Thats amazing. I like the way it flows and the structure of it. I like the way you have portrayed a poet and the way this character or even you like there independence it was a uplifting and complex read Thank you Jodixxx