Chicano Poet

Monday, April 14, 2008

I always wonder about the stupidity of us poets.
Sometimes we hold a gem in our hands and we
throw it away to pick up a dusty pebble. Witness
the idiocy of Richard Wilbur in Museum Piece.

The good grey guardians of art
Patrol the halls on spongy shoes,
Impartially protective, though
Perhaps suspicious of Toulouse.

Here dozes one against the wall,
Disposed upon a funeral chair.
A Degas dancer pirouettes
Upon the parting of his hair.

See how she spirals! The grace is there,
But strain as well is plain to see.
Degas loved the two together:
Beauty joined to energy.

Edgar Degas purchased once
A fine El Greco, which he kept
Against a wall beside his bed
To hang his pants on while he slept.

Why the hell would he ruin a perfect quatrain
like the last four lines? Admittedly the rest of the
poem does bear some good lines and would
stand on its own, but the last part makes the
rest mediocre. Plus the appearance to the name
Degas in the preceding two sections is
irritating as hell to the poetic ear. What the fuck
was he thinking? It is indeed a museum piece.


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