Yes, I shall swear by you, my verse,
by Boris Pasternak
I shall wheeze out, before I swoon:
You're not a tenor's shape and voice,
You're summer travelling third class,
You are a suburb, not a tune.
You're a street as close as May,
You're a battlefield at night,
Where clouds groan loudly in dismay
And scatter, when dismissed, in fright.
And, splitting in the railway's lace-
That's outskirts, not refrain and home-
They crawl back to their native place
Without a song, as if struck dumb.
The shower's offshoots stick in clusters
Till break of day, and all the time
They scribble on the roofs acrostics
And bubble up rhyme after rhyme.
All poetry is what you make it.
And even when the truism's not worth
The rhyme, the flow of verse is scared.
The notebook's open-so flow forth!