from the archives

The first poem I remember studying
in high school was Charge of the Light Brigade.
That was poetry. And Thanatopsis
that was poetry too. In college I met
a girl who could recite them both by heart.
That was true love at first sight. But she said
her mother told her she should never date
a poetry-writing man. I digress.
Good poems have charm and personality,
like trees, that can shelter you in a storm –
and precision, biting multiple times
in the same spot to send its venom true.
The further we venture from the structure,
the less precise our messages become.


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian and archivist-in-training, retired foreign service officer and former naval officer.

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