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Observations of a Former Victim

You may think me insensitive or witless,
But more and more it seems the case these days,
That victimhood is run up on a flagpole,
Including in some overreaching ways.

Of course there’s real and rife victimization,
But vague or bloated forms are now profuse,
And dovetail nicely with another current,
The covering of failure with excuse.

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My Favorite Poems

The poems which leave me most smitten,
Are those that I wish I had written.

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Quandary

How can I say
Without harmful offense
That despite all his genius
He lacks common sense?

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Russel Winick recently started writing poetry at nearly age 65, after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.


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16 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    Some great observations, Russel. I particularly relate to ‘My Favourite Poems’, which in my case stretches to short stories I wish I’d written, both old and new.

    Reply
  2. Sally Cook

    Your short but succinct poems on current themes are much apprecrediated and enjoyed!

    Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    All three were sharp & sagacious. As for your “Quandary,” Russel, it doesn’t matter. As La Rochefaucault wrote:

    Everybody doubts his memory, but nobody his judgment.

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      So true. But she who must be obeyed more than makes up for my own undoubted judgment!

      Reply
  4. Peter Hartley

    Russell – All three are very pithily put epigrams, and how true they are. I most wish I had written the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the reason I haven’t is because no-one gave me a chance.

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Peter. I wish I’d written Langston Hughes’ Mother to Son (but I was the wrong everything for it!)

      Reply
  5. Cheryl Corey

    “My Favorite Poems” – two lines, yet so impactful! I could fill a book with “wish I had written”. To name a few:

    “Blue Girls” (John Crowe Ransom); “When The Frost Is On The Punkin” (James Whitcomb Riley); works by Ernest Fenollosa and Edward Arlington Robinson; everything Gerald Manley-Hopkins (ahh); “We Wear The Mask” & “When Malindy Sings” (Paul Laurence Dunbar (in my opinion, the greatest African-American poet ever, master of dialect bar none); and two of my ultimate favorites: Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” and Dylan Thomas’ “Fern Hill”.

    Thank you, Russel !!

    Reply
  6. Margaret Coats

    All brief but brilliant, Russel. I especially like “Observations of a Former Victim.” A weak claim to victimhood covers a vast number of personal dissatisfactions. Larry Elder, now running for Governor of California, always opened his radio talk show with, “No victicrats allowed! We’ve got a country to save!”

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Margaret. And is there anything more amazing than that Larry seems to have a real shot?

      Reply
  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Russel, I love these bite-sized delights of poetic wisdom. They all have me nodding in agreement and “Quandary” has me laughing out loud. Great stuff! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Susan. I’m sure we all know folks to whom “Quandary” applies.

      Reply

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