Read the poetry of the recently departed John Whitworth at Trinacria or The Poetry Archive. by Sally Cook Any ordinary poet composing a landscape piece might easily imagine a dull blue sky, one small white cloud, and a narrow strip of grass from which a single stump protrudes. That sort of mundane and boring poem is the type of thing one encounters every day at poetry websites, and in mainstream magazines. It's the kind of "hearts-and-flowers" excretion that the modernist mentality encourages. For years, the English poet John Whitworth gave us infinitely more than this. His amazing productivity (shown in his use of many forms, points of view, imaginative flights of fancy, and the glorious colors of his vocabulary) was so effervescent that he clearly transcended the boundaries of what is dismissively called "light verse." Like beautiful balloons, his ebullient poems shot like rockets over the dull and prosaic landscape of lesser verse. Whitworth's "light verse" had all the heft, weight, and power of a battle axe. His talents in rhyme, invention, phrasing, and rhetorical tropes and figures amounted to a cornucopia of blessings to his readers. Those of us who read and appreciated his work will never be the same, and I doubt that we will ever see his like again. The poem below, "What a Whit Is Worth," published at this site a while back, was written by me as a humble tribute to the man and his achievement. What a Wit is Worth for John Whitworth, poet Oh, Whitman was a rhymer who enjoyed to play the part Of complicating everything. It’s something of an art To ramble on for pages on the pinprick of a thought, Which makes word choice irrelevant, and form seem overwrought, And chokes the flow of meter like a clot within the heart, And leaves the scansion bumpy as an overladen cart. Oh, you may paint your wheelbarrows as red as Commie traitors, Make sure your plums keep cool and bland in sleek refrigerators, And hope to Heaven you will cause great earthquakes and unease Disturbing all the critics huddling roosted in the trees, But Whitworth’s worth more half again than all the free verse clamor That issued from that country boy whose hyperbolic stammer Has branded modern poetry these hundred years or so. So, now along the bottom road, as in arrears we go, Feel sorry for poor poets blaring pompously, full blast— And wave the flag for wit and humor—these things truly last.