Wednesday, January 18, 2012

After reading The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker

Working with rhyme again, and trying to find a way to makes sense as I go along.  In his book, The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker makes a strong case for poems that rhyme.  

After reading The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker

Your challenge, Nick, is to write a poem
in which the lines have rhymes;
I now invite King Jeroboam –
a man whose various crimes

brought Israel to idolatrous knees –
to help me with this verse.
I wouldn’t have brought in such a sleeze
if ‘poem’ wasn’t such a curse

to rhyme with, as you no doubt know,
having struggled with the form;
but sans a lesser-known John Doe
I’m having to perform

with a King whose name just fits the bill –
the only one I’ve found –
and hopefully he’s taken his pill
and doesn’t want to expound

the reason why he led poor Israel off
its proper course of action;
otherwise I’ll have to scoff
to stop him gaining traction

regarding idols, groves and bulls
where worship goes awry,
and a self-centred king who pulls
the wool over everyone’s eye.