“I think that high school is where the poetry gets beaten out of you. High school is where poetry goes to die.” — Billy Collins
Ladies and gentlemen thank for coming tonight. As I was sure you would. Who wouldn’t want to see such a young eccentric genius at work. Usually the poetry I write is all about me. But today I have to do an English project. For this assignment I am to humbly honor the poets of the past by writing a poem in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. I’m not used to deliberately convincing myself I’m a completely different person. But I’ll try to pretend I know what I’m talking about. Here goes nothing.
we sat in the classroom
guys and girls
ghouls and ghosts!
staring blankly into deep and endless space
as the instructor coughed and spat up words
gospels of dead poets!
much too dead to hear his loud erupting praises!
I don’t know what he said or what it meant.
I began to feel terrified —
I too shall be condemned
He gargled and growled.
The wise words of the long deceased.
reciting rotten acts of Willie
who sought the bubble reputation
inside that damned canon’s mouth
told hopeless tales of Robbie
and the road he didn’t take
yet maybe should have taken
he screamed and howled about Mister Walt
whoever he might be
he only sung songs of himself
what shall they matter to me?
as I sit quietly in the classroom
daydreaming; gazing out the window
occupying my mind with things I found fascinating and irresistible
beautiful girls; mysterious black cats
that’s all I really wanted to think about
and I sat there for hours under that spell
unaware of my surroundings
and perhaps better off for it
until finally the spell was broken
by a dinging, by a ringing, by a chiming
by a horrific sound that was all too pleasing
by the bells
– A poem by Micah Bauman
Edgar Allan Poe
That’s the end of the poem. You can rest easy now.
“There neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified…this poem which is a poem and nothing more — this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.” — Edgar Allan Poe; The Poetic Principle (1850)