Some There Are Who Look With Scorn

Some there are who look with scorn

On poets that indulge in rhymes,

As if they were strange creatures born

Out of concert with the times,

As if old-fashioned forms and meter

Had all been damned by Paul and Peter!


Poetic forms, they claim, are cages

For thoughts and feelings born with wings,

Instincts meant for flights and stages

Far above pedestrian things,

But artificial rules deny

Their claim presumptive to the sky.


The sonnet, rondeau, triolet

Are all outmoded forms, they think,

On which the sun should finally set,

Condemned as just a waste of ink.

Well, those who care for such debates

May take it up with Frost and Yeats.


No, I am not of their persuasion.

A poem doesn’t fly, it sings.

Perhaps captivity occasions

Sympathy with captive things,

And by this sympathy it gains

Strange beauty from the captive’s pains.


Could Keats’ immortal nightingale

Have Sung in rhymeless verse that hymn

That thrilled the dark, death-haunted dale

With such ecstatic requiem,

And brought Keats, dying, thoughts forlorn

Of Ruth amid the alien corn?



Used by permission of the author.

David’s book, “Birds Only Sing to Those Who Listen,” is available for purchase here.

John David Autin

A Louisiana Cajun by birth, John David Autin tool his B.A. degree in English Literature from the Catholic University of ...more