To a Vers Librist

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

"Oh bard," I said, "your verse is free;
The shackles that encumber me,
The fetters that are my obsession,
Are never gyves to your expression.

"The fear of falsities in rhyme,
In metre, quantity, or time,
Is never yours; you sing along
Your unpremeditated song."

"Correct," the young vers librist said.
"Whatever pops into my head
I write, and have but one small fetter:
I start each line with a capital letter.

"But rhyme and metre--Ishkebibble!--
Are actually negligible.
I go ahead, like all my school,
Without a single silly rule."

Of rhyme I am so reverential
He made me feel quite inconsequential.
I shed some strongly saline tears
For bards I loved in younger years.

"If Keats had fallen for your fluff,"
I said, "he might have done good stuff.
If Burns had thrown his rhymes away,
His songs might still be sung to-day."

O bards of rhyme and metre free,
My gratitude goes out to ye
For all your deathless lines--ahem!
Let's see, now . . . What is one of them?

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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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"To a Vers Librist" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14180/to-a-vers-librist>.

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