on the state of poetry today I see the threads have all aligned __In a patchwork tapestry That seemed at first all but resigned __To the death of poetry. The colors of the patchwork poems, __Splendid though each of them seems, Are mismatched swaths cut off from homes, __Fraying fast at shoddy seams. A patch shows stream of consciousness __(Barely can I read this one). Another stitched vacuousness __Boldly, yet without rhyme’s fun. And all of them go their own way, __Self-expressing endlessly Unmeasured words in grim array, __Wove in patterns tastelessly. Yet from this mess I can make out __Golden threads as thin as air, More potent than what is about, __Grossly scattered everywhere. These threads are straight, invincible, __Tempered over times gone by. Their discipline’s immutable, __Colored in tradition’s dye. They move at once, each with a force __Greater than this age has known, And put the tapestry on course __For an image to be sewn That brings together every piece __Willing to be brought in line, And bunches them into a crease __Firmly held in hands divine. That’s what I see as threads align __In a patchwork tapestry That seems to show a grand design __For the rise of poetry. Evan Mantyk is President of the Society and teaches English literature and history in the Hudson Valley region of New York.