On Tradition

Franklin P. Adams 1881 (Chicago, Illinois) – 1960 (New York City, New York)

LINES PROVOKED BY HEARING A YOUNG MAN WHISTLING

No carmine radical in Art,
I worship at the shrine of Form;
Yet open are my mind and heart
To each departure from the norm.
When Post-Impressionism emerged,
I hesitated but a minute
Before I saw, though it diverged,
That there was something healthy in it.

And eke when Music, heavenly maid,
Undid the chains that chafed her feet,
I grew to like discordant shade--
Unharmony I thought was sweet.
When verse divorced herself from sound,
I wept at first. Now I say: "Oh, well,
I see some sense in Ezra Pound,
And nearly some in Amy Lowell."

Yet, though I storm at every change,
And each mutation makes me wince,
I am not shut to all things strange--
I'm rather easy to convince.
But hereunto I set my seal,
My nerves awry, askew, abristling:
I'll never change the way I feel
Upon the question of Free Whistling.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Franklin P. Adams

Franklin Pierce Adams was an American columnist known as Franklin P. Adams and by his initials F. P. A.. Famed for his wit, he is best known for his newspaper column, "The Conning Tower", and his appearances as a regular panelist on radio's Information Please. A prolific writer of light verse, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table of the 1920s and 1930s. more…

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    "On Tradition" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 20 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14150/on-tradition>.

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