William De Witt Snodgrass
'One Snodgrass, two Snodgrass, three Snodgrass, four . . .
I took my own rollcall when I counted seconds;
'One two three, Two two three, Three . . .,' the drum score
Showed only long rests to the tympani's entrance.
'Oh-oh-oh leff; leff; leff-toh-righ-toh-leff,'
The sergeant cadenced us footsore recruits;
The heart, poor drummer, gone lame, deaf,
Then AWOL, gets frogmarched to the noose.
Old coots, at the Veterans', might catch breath
If their cheeks got slapped by a nurse's aide,
Then come back to life; just so, at their birth,
Young rumps had been tendered warm accolades.
The kick-ass rude attitude, smart-assed insult,
The acid-fueled book review just might shock
Us back to the brawl like smelling salts,
Might sting the lulled heart up off its blocks.
I thought I'd always favor rubato
Or syncopation, scorning fixed rhythms;
Thought my old heartthrobs could stand up to stress;
Believed one's bloodpump should skip a few beats
If it fell into company with sleek young women;
Believed my own bruit could beat with the best.
Wrong again, Snodgrass! This new gold gadget,
Snug as the watch on my wife's warm wrist,
Drives my pulsetempo near twice its old pace—
Go, nonstop startwatch! Go, clockwork rabbit,
Keeping this lame old dog synchronized,
Steady, sparked up, still in the race.
William De Witt Snodgrass's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Pacemaker by William De Witt Snodgrass )
- Maternity, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- The Crematorium, Asit Kumar Sanyal
- unheard pleas, cheynne dries
- The Mild Tiger Among Wild Men, rajendran muthiah
- dont take your life, cheynne dries
- My Life, M.J Donnchadh
- The Living Mirror, Jessica Gabanyic
- caked mud on the doorbell, Mandolyn ...
- Magnificent Armada, Saiom Shriver
- What is final, gajanan mishra
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- Heather Burns
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)