May 19th, 2008

Something There Is

I'm going to be giving a little talk, "Poetry - What Is It?" on Saturday night in beautiful Verona, Wisconsin - just outside of Madison.

The title belatedly puts me in mind of a couplet from T.S. Eliot:
Oh, do not ask "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
But we will go ahead and ask "What is it?" anyway.

I mean, it must be something, otherwise why do we have a word for it?

Unless it's just imaginary,
something from the land of fairy,
dreamed about with persistence
but missing in existence.


Some states are in the middle
and some are on the edge
but whether big or little
I take this solemn pledge:

I love you all, please vote for me -
I'm studying the map,
I'll burn it in my memory -
but first I need a nap.