Poetry of Kansas

It Isn't Any Snap

The poet leads a strenuous life as through the world
      he goes,
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
      has fled.
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
      daily sheet
With tales of love and mirth and crime, done up in
      stanzas neat?
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
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 123

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June 23, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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