Charles Harper Webb

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Enthusiasm - Poem by Charles Harper Webb

"Don't overdo it," Dad yelled, watching me
Play shortstop, collect stamps and shells,
Roll on the grass laughing until I peed my pants.
"Screw him," I said, and grabbed every cowry

I could find, hogged all the books I could
From Heights Library, wore out the baseball
Diamond dawn to dusk, and—parents in Duluth—
Gorged on bountiful Candy dusk to dawn.

Not until a Committee wrote of my poems,
"Enthusiasm should be tempered,"
Did I change my song. I write now
The way I live: calm and sober, steering

Toward the Golden Mean. The Committee
Was right to withhold funds. I'd have bought
A hundred box turtles with lemon-speckled shells,
Flyfished for rainbows six months straight,

Flown to the Great Barrier Reef and dived
Non-stop among pink coral and marble cones,
Living on chocolate malts, peaches, and barbecue.
I'd have turned into a ski bum, married

Ten women in ten states, written nothing
Poetry would glance at twice, instead
Of rising at 5:00 as I do now, writing
'Til noon about matters serious and deep,

Teaching 'til 6:00, eating a low-fat meal
High in fiber and cruciferous vegetables,
Then bed by 9:00, alarm clock set
Five minutes late: my one indulgence of the day.


Comments about Enthusiasm by Charles Harper Webb

  • Rookie - 0 Points Ann Plumb (8/2/2015 4:17:00 PM)

    Thanks what a great poem! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 8,377 Points Ramesh T A (8/2/2015 4:03:00 AM)

    Sans enthusiasm no work can be undertaken in life. Minding all works of day and writing poem is greater than one totally immersed in it all day! Ideas from experience surely enriches one's poetic expression, no appreciation or not, for, there lies satisfaction based on enthusiasm ever! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: candy, chocolate, pink, poetry, women, change, song, woman, rainbow, poem, rose



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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