A Soliloquy on Modern Poetry 

I write this, a soliloquy
Regarding modern poetry.
I don’t appreciate the terse
Disheveled nature of free verse.
So much of it just seems contrived
And of true beauty so deprived.
I just don’t understand the thought
That rhyme makes people overwrought,
Whereas it is a pleasing sound
Adding grace to the profound
And splendor to the spoken word,
An ideal surely not absurd.
The likes of Auden, Poe and Frost,
Whose legacy is not yet lost,
Understood when sounds are paired
Then poetry is language squared.
So why are they afraid of rhyme?
Is it now a poetic crime,
A past poetic road not taken
Or is it just I am mistaken?



Beauty as a pure ideal is too often obscured
By prices paid for objects that are then in closets stored.
Works of art beyond our reach within dim hallways hung,
Like church bells bricked within a building never to be rung.

Is that what beauty really is or is it something more?
As simple as a flower or a wave upon the shore
As common as a sunset with the sky in pink and blue
Or meadows emerald green at sunrise sparkling in the dew.

So much we see is beautiful if we just stop to gaze
And rise above the moment, far above life’s hectic haze.
Forgetting all that burdens us about our daily life,
So that equanimity replaces needless strife.

For it is then that beauty in its truest form appears,
Whether in a face we love or music that we hear.
Whether in a sunset or a walk along a park,
A beach at dawn, a bird in flight, an evening turning dark.

So beauty in its many forms surrounds us everyday.
If we can only recognize it, simply find a way
To see the beauty in our lives as we live every minute;
And only then appreciate each life and all within it.



Building For Eternity

He looked all around him and saw monuments so vast,
Built with good intentions to endure and hold steadfast.
Awesome structures pointing up to heaven as to say
“Here is my creation and forever it will stay.”

How he envied those whose makers surely had the skill
And patience as their best ideas to form they did distill.
Castles with great towers and a moat so deep and wide,
Pyramids whose stature other structures did deride.

How this young builder yearned to be the one who would create
That which wind and weather never could or would ablate.
And yet when all was done and evening closed another day,
My son laid down his bucket on the beach and walked away.



Richard Lackman is an orthopaedic cancer surgeon and poet.

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4 Responses

  1. Patricia Thrower

    Absolutely astonishing !
    So well done.
    Just love the last one’s ending, very touching!

  2. Nick S

    All really lovely poems. I think I’ll print at least the first one out and hang it in my classroom for my students — with proper credit of course, and I’ll even make a point of the publication date.

  3. sally cook

    You have a sharp eye, a good heart, and a philosophical bent. Keep on keeping on.


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