Have you read Irving Layton?

I hear he’s fantastic

But only his smiles imprint

indelible images upon my mind

like the detached wing of a fly.

Have you listened to Whitman?

Do you find him too free with his expression?

Have you read Rod McKuen?

I hear he’s impressive

But only in a single-minded

of men and women.

Like the moth and the flame.

Have you heard Leonard Cohen?

Eulogizing the ironies of

the beautiful lovers

from his Mountain street apartment.

Have you read Alfred Tennyson?

I hear he’s quite chivalrous

But only in the heroic

descriptions of characters.

Like the courage of the dead warrior’s wife.

Have you thought about T.S. Elliot?

A life filled with loves and

the burial of dead friends,

but still to feel hollow.

Have you read H.D. Thoreau?

I hear he’s foresighted.

But only in the persistent

recording of his actions.

Like the man who planted trees.

Have you seen E.E. Cummings?

Can you find him in his literary architecture?

Have you read the poet?

I hear he’s quite expressive

But only in the seclusion

of his unique style.

by M. Perron (Originally written September 24th, 1992)

Notes: I remember having lots of fun writing this one… trying to emulate the feel of each poet.


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