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Praise for a Nonessential

*To Sylvia Plath


Unforced erection of a cenotaph

became her solitary compulsion

and, as she oozed into self-revulsion,

knew it would be not her child, but her craft.

Thoughts blotched in as the coat of a giraffe

patterned with words for ample propulsion

and she, bent in ecstatic convulsion,

grasped that poetry is no polygraph.


She understood the point of poems

is not to outfit food or homes

or to put down in phrases terse

some meaning for the universe.

So, then, why write a poem at all?

To latch like Percy, stitched and small.


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