Three Answers [gnomic ars poetica]
(i) Bright Brigands
To say the stylist lacks ideas is like proposing
the painter lacks a proper sense of third dimension
not every art is sculpture! are we then supposing
that beauty shows no meaning? truth's not sheer invention?
an access to the battery of mind and guile
abides in the madcap hattery of form and style
for saying has its own illustrious loving morals
as praying has its own industrious doting quarrels
a cogent saying lacking anything to say?
I've never seen without a breeze a tree a'sway
if meaning isn't clustered in the shady eaves
the words themselves grow flustered and become like thieves
they steal into the house of form and raid the fridge
with bellies full they loll about on writing's ridge
(ii) Hushed Arbors
Can poetry not practice homeopathy?
a pinch of thought affects us microscopically
you needn't add two pounds of sugar to your tea
there's savor even in plain bitter poetry
what need to choose between nutrition and good taste?
nature's delight in flowery vision is not a waste
whatever word brings music also echoes meaning
these molecules are living friend! these plots are greening
the deeper grows the subtle sense of formal ardors
the keener grows the redolence of hidden arbors
(iii) What and Where
The proof abides in the pudding claims the wise curmudgeon
the theory does its gooding in the actual poem
to hold that form itself shows substance is a sturgeon
that only thrives in water never lives on loam
Responsive to this pleasantry by KVK Murthy (aka James Joyce):
The stickiest bone in the poetry row
Is whether it's the what or the how.