What good is verse to one who won't believe
In Muses or the God who gave them birth,
When none believe in prophesy or saints
Or heroes, geniuses, lives of great worth?
Perhaps the lack of worthy subjects stains
Our poetry so no one wants to read
The doggerel we write. Who can delight
When envy, blame, and hate is all we feed?
You can't lift up by tearing down, no bridge
Is dynamited to connect the shores --
Thus we can't bridge ourselves to virtue's lands
Insisting all are syphilitic whores.
But why have poetry when there's injustice?
Frivolities just take us off the path.
But, honestly, your anger is pathetic
Compared to great Achilles' awesome wrath.
And who of you would follow justice down
To Hades and insist on justice true
To itself such as Oedipus proclaimed
And punish when the one who sinned is you?
So do not say that poetry has not
A place today -- the serious alone
Find home in verse, find lessons to be learned --
The rest of you are cowards made of stone.