Poetry of Kansas

Things We Ought to Know

There are plenty of poets who sling a good pen
When writing an ode to the flag of the free,
Who prate of the flowers that spangle the glen
Or tell of the damp-rolling, dark-foaming sea.
But where is the man with the gift of the muse,
Who can make all immortal, in story and song,
The things that we know and the things that we use
And the things that we want as we journey along?
There are slathers of stanzas on heroes of old,
Which tell of the feats of the army and navy;
But few of the glories have ever been told
That hang round a platter of chicken and gravy.
There are pale, sickly members of minstrelsy's clan
Who weep as they sing of humanity's fate;
But let them come forward and tell, if they can,
The way to grow hair on a shiny, bald pate.
There are epics unnumbered in every style
That tell how the planets chaotically clash;
But never a word on the use of the bile
Or a hint at the contents of boarding house hash.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 13

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June 21, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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