Having taught literature at the college level for two decades, I decided it was time to create some of my own. This puts me in the unusual position of being a middle-aged apprentice, a theme that shows up in my work. While I enjoy free verse, my heart is with traditional forms. The play of English phrasing and syntax across a sturdy pentameter framework is, for me, one of life’s great pleasures. My poems have appeared in The Lyric, The New Verse News, and Voices on the Wind.
for Steven Monte
As a younger man I dreamed of writing prose
whose cadences would inundate the heart,
warming those sensibilities that froze
when poets stripped the music from their art.
Now that in middle years I’ve switched to verse
and left those storytelling dreams behind,
my youthful ambition lingers like a curse
in language too flamboyantly designed
to overwhelm. That’s why I look to you,
old friend, whose practiced ear for pitch is true,
to help me rein in my insubordinate line;
I trust that you’ll point out what’s overdone,
and that in time your subtleties will run
some clarifying water through my wine.
©2015 David Southward