When I was young I danced and sung and chuckled at the page
I memorised the limericks that in youth were all the rage.
I read aloud from Elliot, recited Tolkien’s lay,
fell in love with Shakespeare’s sonnets (and still am to this day)
But the thing that really gets to me – the thing that makes me curse --
is the way that modern poetry insists on blankin’ verse.
I’ve read your Keats and Auden and the poets of the war;
I’ve read the songs of love that had me coming back for more.
I’ve laughed along with A.A. Milne and cried with Sylvia Plath
and fell asleep while struggling with Chaucer in the bath.
But the thing that sets my blood to boil, the thing that gets to me
is the modern flush of poets with their concrete poetry.
I’ve learned the names of many forms and tried my hand at some
I’ve struggled with pentameter and tum-te-tum-te-tum
Put money in the meter and I’ve washed Iambic foot’
I’ve counted out the syllables and I’ve edited and cut.
But though I try I always fail to get the hang of blank
for though it reads like beauty I suspect the poem’s wank.