poet Henry Cuyler Bunner

Henry Cuyler Bunner

The Future Of The Classics

No longer, 0 scholars, shall Plautus
Be taught us.
No more shall professors be partial
To Martial.
No ninny
Will stop playing “shinney”
For Pliny.
Not even the veriest Mexican Greaser
Will stop to read Caesar.
No true son of Erin will leave his potato
To list to the love-lore of Ovid or Plato.
Old Homer,
That hapless old roamer,
Will ne'er find a rest 'neath collegiate dome or
Anywhere else. As to Seneca,
Any cur
Safely may snub him, or urge ill
Effects from the reading of Virgil.
Cornelius Nepos
Won't keep us
Much longer from pleasure's light errands —
Nor Terence.
The irreverent now may all scoff in ease
At the shade of poor old Aristophanes.
And moderns it now doth behoove in all
Ways to despise poor old Juvenal;
And to chivvy
The class-room hereafter will miss a row
Of eager young students of Cicero.
The longshoreman — yes, and the dock-rat, he’s
Down upon Socrates.
And what’ll
Induce us to read Aristotle?
We shall fail in
Our duty to Galen.
No tutor henceforward shall rack us
To construe old Horatius Flaccus.
We have but a wretched opinion
Of Mr. Justinian.
In our classical pabulum mix we no wee sop
Of Aesop.
Our balance of intellect asks for no ballast
From Sallust.
With feminine scorn no fair Vassar-bred lass at us
Shall smile if we own that we cannot read Tacitus.
No admirer shall ever now wreath with begonias
The bust of Suetonius.
And so, if you follow me,
We’ll have to cut Ptolemy.
Besides, it would just be considered facetious
To look at Lucretius.
And you can
Not go in Society if you read Lucan.
And we cannot have any fun
Out of Xenophon.

Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 4, 2010

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Comments about The Future Of The Classics by Henry Cuyler Bunner

  • Ed Little (9/4/2010 2:20:00 AM)

    An idea well put together.

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