Monday, November 15, 2010

The Blank Page

This is a poem I wrote in college.  I used to write poetry, poorly.  Looking back, this is the one of the few decent ones.  Far from perfect, but more metrically and structurally intricate than most of what I wrote.  I also still appreciate the sentiment.  I hope you like it, too.

What hope do I have against a blank page?
Line upon empty line that should say so much,
Yet it will not, but once in an age, when the touch
Of true genius resounds.

Foolish me, to spoil boundless hope such,
To try to speak of the profound and the true
When I cannot, no matter the crutch, for to woo
True genius is impossible.

But continue I must, quibbling with the mere hue
Of my words, not the inevitable shortcomings therein,
The forgotten genius that ever imbues nothing I begin,
For I am but a spectator.

A witness to Whitman, transitory and simple tin
To gold.  When Yeats or Donne speaks, I hope to hear,
To read true words and listen, to rejoice in Lear
At tragic beauty alone, but beautiful.

I resign to the Fool, only so I may lack the fear
And shame to stay my hand, so I may pretend the sage,
All the while a simple seer, ever with soul enraged
At passing ink on the once blank page.

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