Felix Stefanile Poems
Taking Sides With John Ciardi
When Robert Lowell hyphenated you-
Italian, hyphen sign, American-
to praise your poetry, your answer ran
in rough-house expletives. Your passion flew,
and subsequently in an interview
you squelched his harmless seeming little hyphen
as not the way to write out citizen.
How culture-vultures smiled at the to-do.
If this is poetry, as may be true,
it's also punctuation, not too thin
a point or line for morals that you drew.
We all know grammar can stick like a pin,
and those who think my point is overdrawn,
they are no friends of yours, nor of mine, ...