|The poet leads a strenuous life as through the world
He has to keep his kids and wife in victuals and in
He works throughout the livelong day to build a little
And all his genius flies away before 'tis dinner time.
The lonely watches of the night he spends awake in
But cannot join his words aright because the muse
When slow success his efforts crown and he has
built a verse
Then everybody in the town agrees it aint so worse.
They ask: "However do you make your thoughts like
rivers flow ?
You have the gift of Billy Shake, who flourished long
Why don't you write your news in rhyme and fill the
With tales of love and mirth and crime, done up in
Why don't you write the ads that way and tell us
where to go
To buy our boots and beans and hay and tickets for
the show ?
Say wont you make some poetry about the Kameroons
To read at missionary tea on Thursday afternoons ?"
They seem to think a poet's mind is like a sorghum
And all he has to do is grind out verses with a crank.
Verdigris Valley Verse
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)