To the Reader of Verse

Ah, lover, critic, arbiter of verse,
divulge your passions, fill a lusting soul
with praises. Let the balladeer coerce
the skeptic. Let the troubadour cajole
Antaéus: wrestle not with me, unclench
your fists. Behold the Muse Calliope,
her flights and fancies. Bear the hellish stench
of Falsifiers, Dante’s misery.
Embrace the pillowy and blinding white
hosannas of the snowbound winter pine;
the calligraphic spirals in the flight
of starlings; dabs of earthen misty wine
in summer’s dawn; and longings to beguile
the spirit with a sonnet’s luring style.



Paul Buchheit is an author of books, poems, progressive essays, and scientific journal articles. He recently completed his first historical novel, 1871: Rivers on Fire.  His poetry has appeared in The Lyric, Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets & Patrons of Chicagoland, Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, Society of Classical Poets, and other publications.

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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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18 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    Wow! How many muses do you have, Paul?

    If that doesn’t embrace the meaning of ‘classical’, nothing does.

    Thanks for the read.

  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    How wonderful a poem for World Poetry Day! I had to look up the date and it is indeed March 21.

  3. Brian A Yapko

    This is truly a beautiful poem, Paul, which attends to the reader of poetry but which, I believe, actually captures the deep yearnings of the poet. It’s quite wonderful.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Paul, this poem has beguiled me with its exquisite beauty and let me know with bewitching imagery exactly why I adore poetry. This reader of verse thanks you very much for the lovely linguistic trip.

  5. Sally Cook

    This graceful sonnet is something filled with so much. Packed full, and yet it does not seem so, and that is masterful. Was it easy to write? I wouldn’t think so, but such an inspired piece may well have been. I would like to know more about how you came to write something as unusual as this, if you are willing to share.

    • Paul Buchheit

      Thanks, Sally, that’s so nice of you to say! I’d be happy to communicate with you if you can get my email from Evan.

  6. Joshua C. Frank

    Great sonnet, Paul! You’ve really pulled out all the stops and used everything in the classical poet’s toolbox, which is not easy to fit into 14 lines. Well done!


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