Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ode to Kermode

by Mark Sampson

Can I be frank?
Now that you added
the undesirable D to your WM status
should we count you among the great
withering hopefuls?
You taught us the importance
of being earnest, and a little Wilde
Your coevals were suckers for
straight-up story, while your prodigies
languished under death-defying Derrida,
all those Lacan-ic afternoons

Tempest in a chamber pot
That’s the academic’s life
(such as it is)
but you held your nose
and your head up high
your piston mind and tweedy brilliance
forever glowing in
your Reading light
(We could all Frye in its heat)
No sun, gentle Prospero
No son, you Hamlet near the beach
Stare through our words
and give us a new language to speak

And what would say to an obituary in verse?
Bah – my job’s not finished. Never will be
If you must, go write your poem. Get it Donne
My real work here has only barely started

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