A Journal of Formal & Metrical Verse

The Mantle listen

The poets of our age have vied
to make their art an oracle.
It's difficult now to decide
which prophet’s least rhetorical.

Yeats has his gyres, Williams, things
Stevens plays a blue guitar
Eliot has his fisher kings
and Sexton, well-- she goes too far.

The pressure of significance
weights all their necks, an albatross
hung as a common consequence
when faith is at a common loss.

But I reject this leaden mantle.
It's heavier than a harpy's cry.
Though Thomas wrote, “Do no go gentle,”
I do not want a glittering eye.

By C.E. Chaffin

C.E. Chaffin, M.D., FAAFP, edited The Melic Review for eight years prior to its hiatus. Widely published, he has written literary criticism, fiction, personal essays, and has been the featured poet in over twenty magazines. In the last ten years he has had over 500 pieces published. Credits include: The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Pedestal, The Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review and Rattle. His new volume, Unexpected Light: Selected Poems and Love Poems 1998-2008, Diminuendo Press, illuminates his struggle with manic-depression and his redeeming love for his deaf wife. It can be ordered at: www.cechaffin.com/light.html. Blog: www.cechaffin.blogspot.com.