Jay Mandeville

(February 16 / Kansas City, Missouri USA)

On Looking Into Keats's Letters


This for certain, Keats has a temper;
he knows how to take it and dish it out.
Mark well when he warns us,
Keats will decode our doubts.
Or misbehave at the party buffet freely,
cause fastidious guests to
veer away queasily.

He might even ill-use our most precious sofa,
as he separates us from our loneliest offer.
And foodfighting to submission our implacable blase,
he'll drink our cool, cellar-hid claret,
hatch sonnets in our lingerie.
He'll hang hostiles in the garret,
drip honey over all our storage density.
Then speaking of beauty when we're bored,
he'll vex with seriousness all our leisure activities.

Some morning, when we're cranky,
and narrow, and bleary,
we'll find Keats a saint, but since he's shone bright too early,
we'll lock him in cupboards with freaks and imponderables,
and swear the key to happiness is
status and convertibles.

Submitted: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Edited: Thursday, March 22, 2012

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  • Jay Mandeville (3/23/2012 2:11:00 PM)

    Dear Diane, It's an honor to have an extremely talented poet such as yourself among the readers of my poetry. As for the fine line you mention, (although you were probably referring to Keats) I often feel that my own poetry is at its most interesting when I travel precariously along that line between the rigors of coherence and bits of mad, improvisational experiment. I sometimes fall flat on my poetic face, but at other moments arrive at unexpected, fortuitous combinations that surprise and delight me. Sincerely, Jay (Report) Reply

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