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Lamont Palmer Male, 52, United States (6/25/2013 3:54:00 PM)

Winter Before Winter

William Logan


At Cairo, the old established firm of Fever & Ague is still settling up its unfinished business.
—The Confidence Man

The sky not uniform gray, but a splendor
of chalky washes, some Prussian blue,

smutty or smoky, where stray dots of starlings
whip past like loose punctuation—

the afternoon falters, as afternoons will,
this season of late gestures,

the hardness before true winter.
Botticelli showed the same futility of the beautiful,

caught, held, the merest
stay against the inevitable, the way the first

locust seems a mistake, but soon—
in that way age runs through its petty defeats—

the mobs clatter in the grain bin.
There is that last pleasure, disease.

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  • Lamont Palmer Rookie - 1st Stage (6/26/2013 4:59:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    What you dislike about this poem is that its poetry. Everything can't be flat, little anecdotes, or the craft would die completely. -LP

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    • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (6/26/2013 11:32:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Monty, arguing with you about poetry is like bashing my head against a concrete wall. Anything organized by lines and stanzas is poetry (can't we even agree on that?) What you mean by " poeti ... more

  • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (6/25/2013 7:48:00 PM) Post reply

    What I dislike about this kind of poem is its SOLEMNITY, not its seriousness, but its conviction it's important...snore.

  • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (6/25/2013 5:17:00 PM) Post reply

    For a Logan poem, not unbearable. At least, this time he's not channeling Longfellow with stale rhymes. Lines 3,5,6,8-9 have that academic/musty/derivative stench so beloved of retro-critics like Logan (" merest/stay against the inevitable, " Jezus, how many times have I heard THAT before?) The best line of the poem is surprisingly Ashberyish, " mobs clatter in the grain bin." Maybe there is hope for this reactionary stiff to develop into a decent poet after all....

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