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Requiem for Verse

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Published on Feb 19, 2013

Sure -- have it your way. Poetry IS dead!

This is an orginal piece written and read by Charles Elliott/Beautyseer. It debutted on The Beautyseer Channel in 2013. Text follows below.

Requiem for Verse

Yes, sure -- poetry is dead. Dead, again.
For the Last Rites, I stood beside the bed,
heard every word that was said.

Fisted these flowers to the memorial,
in a cold rain stood bareheaded beside
the weeping grave. Poetry is dead, of course.
But even in life it was ever so. So many words
and lines held onto and encapsulated moments,
froze them forever like Triassic mites and flies
trapped in sunny amber.

Well, yes, poetry is dead, the breath of those
who no longer walk these hills still motivating
our living lips.

Poetry is obsolete, six feet under, has gone
to meet its maker, moved on to its small reward.
And yet its cadences persist as a kiss
upon bygone lips, a scent of lost love,
the cry of a raven from the graveyard.
Shimmers in the air like a specter unimagined.
Lies in shadow as inert as hieroglyphs eons long,
inscribed for the ages deep within the cartouches
that fence off our stone hearts.

And yes, poetry may be comatose but always
was written for the undead, all the zombie legions
who walk this earth unconscious. Every ghoul
who envies us our fresh flesh and blood.

Yes, poetry is deceased, but it persists in stalking
the hollow halls of academe where so many
still seek the miracle, try to roll away the stone,
root to reverse the rigor mortis, command the corpse
to rise and walk again.

Poetry may well be dead, but so is every harvest
that sustains us, every beaten sword that rejoices
in becoming a ploughshare, every dull blade
bested by a clever pen, every road not taken
in some long-since-lumbered New England wood.

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