A POEM IN HONOR OF WILLIAM LOGAN’S UPCOMING APPEARANCE AT THE SEWANEE WRITER’S CONFERENCE

The haunting image of Allen Tate—who is buried at Sewanee

SEWANEE

Though his poems today don’t rate,
You may see the ghost of Allen Tate,
Staring at you, with a muddy smile!
Speak Ransom’s ‘Amphibious Crocodile,’
To scare him—and if you’re still shaking,
Recite at the top of your voice, ‘Janet Waking.’
But if Pound should come around,
Begin your leave-taking.

The Southern Agrarians
Were exquisite contrarians
But Ezra Pound
Laughs underground,
Drifting through Sewanee, drifting through Sewanee.

And Edgar Allan Poe?
You don’t want to know
How Matthiessen tied him up
So long ago,
And Eliot killed him
With spear and bow.

—Scarriet Editors

JANET WAKING

Beautifully Janet slept
Till it was deeply morning. She woke then
And thought about her dainty-feathered hen,
To see how it had kept.

One kiss she gave her mother.
Only a small one gave she to her daddy
Who would have kissed each curl of his shining baby;
No kiss at all for her brother.

“Old Chucky, old Chucky!” she cried,
Running across the world upon the grass
To Chucky’s house, and listening. But alas,
Her Chucky had died.

It was transmogrifying bee
Came droning down on Chucky’s old bald head
And sat and put the poison. It scarcely bled,
But how exceedingly

And purply did the knot
Swell with the venom and communicate
Its rigor! Now the poor comb stood up straight
But Chucky did not.

So there was Janet
Kneeling on the wet grass, crying her brown hen
(Translated far beyond the daughters of men)
To rise and walk upon it.

And weeping fast as she had breath
Janet implored us, “Wake her from her sleep!”
And would not be instructed in how deep
Was the forgetful kingdom of death.

—John Crowe Ransom

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2 Comments

  1. Marcus Bales said,

    July 25, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Found Poem: Top Ten Reasons To Remain an Unknown Poet

    10. Only undergraduates mock you for
    bad hair days.

    9. The ghost in the martini stays silent.

    8. No fear on a date
    at Le Bistro de Beaujolais.
    of being mobbed by one’s fans.

    7. No fear of the bill
    at Le Bistro de Beaujolais
    while still enjoying the freedom
    from the fear of being mobbed by one’s fans
    at Burger King.

    6. No awkward explanations to faculty colleagues
    about the limo.

    5. Former graduate students don’t publish
    in the New York Times Review of Books
    their accounts of time spent in your office
    having sex.

    4. Former graduate students don’t publish
    in the New York Times Review of Books
    their accounts of time spent in your office
    having sex
    with you.

    3. Former graduate students don’t publish
    in the New York Times Review of Books
    their accounts of time spent in your office
    having sex
    with your fiercest faculty rival.

    2. Gay/not gay — who the fuck cares?

    and the number one reason
    to remain an unknown poet:

    William Logan.

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Bales is back!!

      We apologize to our readers for missing Marcus.

      There were some technical issues.

      (Or maybe it was an act of God)

      As for Logan, I think Criticism is good for poetry, the way predators are good for deer populaton, etc. William Logan and Mother Nature know what they’re doing…don’t you worry…


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