Into the fray of metrical debate,
stage right! Here comes the erstwhile academic:
a horde of vandals surges at the gate.
Barbarians! A verbal epidemic
against which poetry must vaccinate.
The doctor-scribe prescribes a fierce polemic.
Only the strictest, most Socratic cure
will do to keep the tribal language pure.
So much excites his dire ridicule.
So many fools inspire his derision.
The problem — as he sees it — is the school
of liberality, of lax permission,
the dumbing-down of the genetic pool….
He mourns an age brought up on television —
a generation that so oft forgets
which lines are Romeo's, which Juliet's.
The pages of the formal magazines
are not immune to signs of putrefaction,
the feminists & leftists sporting jeans,
schismatic critics who oppose his faction,
& others who aspire beyond their means,
have robbed him of his hard-won satisfaction.
When anyone can publish, what's the use?
How separate oneself from Dr. Seuss?
A poem must be regular, must kick
goose-step iambics, straight; no substitution
to mar the proper metronomic tick.
The rhymes must match, per textbook elocution;
to slant, one proves oneself a heretic.
The doctor thus arrives at this solution:
to blast all other poets from the shelf.
Meta-metaphysician, heal thyself.