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Poem by Joyce Kilmer


To Certain Poets


Now is the rhymers honest trade
A thing for scornful laughter made.
The merchants sneer, the clerks disdain,
These are the burden of our pain.
Because of you did this befall,
You brought this shame upon us all.
You little poets mincing there
With womens hearts and womens hair!
How sick Dan Chaucers ghost must be
To hear you lisp of Poesie!
A heavy-handed blow, I think,
Would make your veins drip scented ink.
You strut and smirk your little while
So mildly, delicately vile!

Your tiny voices mock Gods wrath,
You snails that crawl along His path!
Why, what has God or man to do
With wet, amorphous things like you?
This thing alone you have achieved:
Because of you, it is believed
That all who earn their bread by rhyme
Are like yourselves, exuding slime.
Oh, cease to write, for very shame,
Ere all men spit upon our name!
Take up your needles, drop your pen,
And leave the poets craft to men!



Joyce Kilmer


Joyce Kilmer's other poems:
  1. In Memory
  2. The Proud Poet
  3. Mid-ocean in War-time
  4. The Robe of Christ
  5. Pennies


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