"Homer" by Jean-Baptiste Auguste Leloir ‘The Age of Poetry’ and Other Poetry by Michael Skau The Society November 4, 2018 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Poetry 9 Comments The Age of Poetry They say that poetry’s a young man’s game, indulged while still limber, lithe, and healthy enough to dance all night with energy. Without concern for funding and fickle fame, artists, in their youth, burning with passion’s flame, can better ignore the bruises of poverty, the mortgage, the life insurance policy, the child’s tuition. These lay on them no claim, and derelictions induce no sense of shame. I’m not suggesting they lack integrity. In fact, their guiltless insobriety reminds me that I was once more fierce, less tame. Arthritis cracks my joints, my hair’s now thin, my memory’s sporadic at best, my heart stutters, my eyes weep, my bowel condition strands me home alone or at least apart from those I crave, loose dentures slur my diction. Although my health and brain have begun to depart for remote destinations, my imagination still has a full head of hair, and I start my muses waltzing in feeble composition. The frailty of age is not for the faint of art. Humor Because my poems are somewhat comic, they get dismissed by every critic for lacking gravity and weight, as though the grim and desolate were the only themes appropriate for poetry. I hesitate to compare myself to Byron, but you can’t deny he managed to cut a gay and frolicking caper or two in that smiling satire of his, Don Juan, while he skewered society’s foibles, its parchments, mores, dead bibles. He knew the secret of how to write: art should convey both light and delight. Michael Skau is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was named Winner of the 2013 William Kloefkorn Award for Excellence in Poetry, and his collection of poems, Me & God, was published by Wayne State College Press in 2014. WordTech Editions published his chapbook After the Bomb in 2017. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses James A. Tweedie November 4, 2018 A wonderful, witty way To start a weekend day! “My imagination still has a full head of hair.” “The fragility of age is not for the faint of art.” “Art should convey both light and delight.” Aphoristic agility—for the aged and the ages! Thank you, Mr. Skau. Reply Michael Skau November 7, 2018 Thanks, James A. Tweedie, for your kind appreciation. Reply Joseph S. Salemi November 4, 2018 Dear Prof. Skau — You are quite correct about the ingrained prejudice against any kind of comic verse these days. The standard critical jargon is to call it “light” verse, with the implication that it is lightweight and unserious. This is a direct result of the deliberate mystification and pretentiousness of modernism, which consciously compels its practitioners into the fatuous pose of oracular declamation. No poet can expect praise today unless he puts forth the persona of one making a profound statement — even if his poem is merely about some stupid little epiphany he had while crossing the street. Reply Monty November 4, 2018 I’m curious as to who’s reffered to in the very first word of ‘The Age . . ‘. Reply Joseph S. Salemi November 4, 2018 It’s exactly the same meaning as the French “On dit…” or the Spanish “Se dice..” Reply Monty November 4, 2018 Ah, I see: as in the general term ‘so they say’ (or ‘ils ont dit’). Michael Skau November 7, 2018 Thanks, James A. Tweedie, for your kind appreciation. I also appreciate the perceptive clarification by Joseph S. Salemi and Monty and the positive responses by James Sale and Trevor Siggers. James Sale November 5, 2018 Witty, enjoyable, droll – I liked these a lot, especially that last line: ‘The frailty of age is not for the faint of art.’ Well done. Reply Trevor Siggers November 5, 2018 Michael What resonance, what truth what smiles you bring to start this today. Thank you. Trevor across the pond in Leek Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.