Dear Critic

By: Dane Shannon
                        —Specially Dedicated to John Ciardi

Assert, by all means, that this poem is bull.
And chide me for my pithy perfect pace
that forces into chants read like a race.
Say the end-stopped lines are rather dull.
Write an essay elaborating in full
how perfect rhymes, when spoken, often taste
empty and annoying. Scrunch your face
at that clumsy metaphor. If you’d like, roll

your eyes at the repetition of this theme.
Mock the needless form—the rhythm likes to roam
from line to line. Notice that the voice seems
inconsistent. I’ll take your criticism home,
study it, learn it, love it. But please, don’t dream,
don’t dare to say, that this is not a poem.

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