Photo of the angel of Sleepy Hollow Cemetary‘Ms. Hayden, On Your Selection of Our Next Poet Laureate’ and Other Poetry by Joe Tessitore The Society December 1, 2018 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 16 Comments Ms. Hayden, On Your Selection of Our Next Poet Laureate: For poetry to rise again Seek one who has applied the pen To that which all can understand, To verse which is sublime and grand. Choose one who writes for all to read, Who is from all pretension freed, Who can be subtle and be bold, Whose message speaks to young and old. Seek one whose words can cross the aisle And turn a scowl into a smile; Whose elegance is pure and plain And can be heard in each refrain. Turn not away from poetry That can uplift and set us free! Mercy’s Song The cry of vengeance __shrill and strong, but from the most __egregious wrong comes Mercy’s most __exquisite song, so raise your voice __and sing along! The Angel of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery* Ye guardian of souls untold! Whence comes this garland that you hold? From bowers of celestial blooms, you decorate mere mortals’ tombs? Not all, say I, only the just who in Our Master placed their trust. Breathtaking beauty not to waste on such as thee, by sin dis-graced. The hourglass yet did not drain. Scant few the grains that still remain. But time enough, from His hand sent, to mend thy ways and to repent. For every one, ‘tis not too late to walk in bliss thru Heaven’s Gate. * the resting place of Washington Irving. A Grain of Sand Like sand running thru an hourglass, the days of our lives so quickly pass. Tumbling grains—all the joys and pains— till finally only one remains. Weigh well my words and don’t misconstrue; be grateful for the sand in your shoe. Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. 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December 1, 2018 Good morning! Thank you for the great poetry, Joe. It would be great if SCP mailed Ms. Hayden a collection of SCP’s poems advocating this position. All 4 poems are all very good. Mercy’s Song and The Angel of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery are powerful. I can’t wait to read future poems from you (and other SCP contributors) while drinking tea from my new Society of Classical Poets mug! Reply Joseph Tessitore December 1, 2018 Thanks Beth! (and snuggled in my new SCP hoodie!) Reply Mark Stone December 1, 2018 Joe, Hello. 1. First poem. Flawless and wonderful, in my opinion. 2. Second poem. The first two lines seem to be missing a verb. Perhaps an “is” before “shrill” could be added. 3. Third poem. This is also a really strong poem. I would change “dis-graced” to “disgraced” and “every one” to “everyone” and “thru” to “through.” And I love this line: “Scant few the grains that still remain.” 4. Fourth poem. It took me a while to figure out the meter. Lines 1 and 2 are: iamb-anapest-iamb-iamb. And lines 5 and 6 are: iamb-iamb-anapest-iamb. I can’t reach a definite conclusion about the meter of lines 3 and 4; it depends on if you pronounce “tumbling” with two syllables or three syllables. Also, I would change “thru” to “through.” Finally, I would say that this poem is very good advice. Thank you for sharing these poems. Reply Joseph Tessitore December 1, 2018 Mark, Thanks so much for your comments and criticisms! There should have been a comma after “vengeance” in the second poem; “shrill and strong” should have been sectioned off and the poem itself should have been but one sentence. Dashes may have worked to accomplish this as well. In the third poem I wanted the angel to sound both different and archaic, and so my use of “dis-graced” (which struck me powerfully when I thought of it), and “every one”. I’m glad you liked them, and I appreciate your taking the time to comment on them. Reply C.B. Anderson December 1, 2018 Joe, The first poem is very much on point, but unfortunately, here, at this venue, you are simply preaching to the choir. Why not write a letter directly to the Librarian — it’s not as if formalist poets have never been appointed Poet Laureate. Reply Joseph Tessitore December 1, 2018 C.B., This poem came from a previous posting – an open letter to the same Librarian. It was a poem of some sixty lines in length, and I questioned the practicality of sending something that long. Evan challenged me to write something shorter, and so this poem (which, by the way, is also the first sonnet I’ve ever written). Dr. Salemi suggested that letters, regardless of their length, will probably have nothing at all to do with the Librarian’s selection. I agree with him. I like this poem because I think it’s a pretty comprehensive summary of what I believe poetry should be. I hope all is well. Joe Reply Rajendra Singh Baisthakur December 1, 2018 I like to the first poem “Ms Hayden …..” for its use of simple words to convey a profound thought. Yeah there is need for more good poetry and truly it is a powerful means to better the world. Reply Joseph Tessitore December 2, 2018 Thank you very much, Rajendra. I try my best to write that way and am grateful that you appreciate it. Reply David Watt December 2, 2018 I really enjoyed your poems Joe, particularly the first. This poem made me think of the Australian situation in regard to the position of Poet Laureate. In 1818 and 1819, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, granted convicted felon Michael Massey Robinson two cows for his services as poet laureate. Since then, the post of Australian poet laureate has remained unfilled. I imagine that if the position was reinstated, we may require a formal dairy farmer. Reply Joseph Tessitore December 2, 2018 A truly remarkable story, David. Leave it to our politicians! Reply Alexander Ream December 2, 2018 I have much despair as to present establishment corridors naming a poet laureate who is an actual poet. Sewanee, Oxford American, and The Southern Review, I believe, are indicators of the prevailing poetry malaise. I actually think we’d need an apocalypse and several hundred years to recover a quality civilization. Reply Alexander Ream December 2, 2018 having said that: fine poem Joe PS – when I was 8, half of my family split from mainline Presbyterianism into a conservative denomination. Though checkered and imperfect, the experience taught me that better quality is obtained either on the margin or by referencing persistent classics from previous eras. My perspective could be truncated, though. I hope your poem and it’s wish is successful. Reply David Paul Behrens December 2, 2018 Nice rhyming, Joe. And good poems all around. Reply Amy Foreman December 3, 2018 Enjoyable poetry, as per usual, Joe! Thanks for sharing it! Reply Dusty Grein January 1, 2019 Awesome stuff as always Joe. Like you, I think that a shorter poem will probably have a better chance of being read, but a diversity of forms is always a pleasure, and maybe we will be lucky enough to find that the Hon. Ms. Hayden will be intrigued enough by the responses to read the in depth. 🙂 Reply Dusty Grein January 1, 2019 ** them all … fingers out-typed my brain, lol Reply Leave a Reply to Mark Stone 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. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.