and the dead poets go

I had promise you know
I learned to love the literature
Of men whose words had power
Who could sing to a Grecian Urn
Or make Ozymandias’ broken stones immortal

Yes my heart leapt up
When I first read
the rainbow in the sky
And the lady who walks
In the beauty of the night
Where truth is beauty
And beauty truth

Their voices, now, quiet and dim
Drowned by the din of little men
Who traded:
Courage for contentment
Passion for passiveness
Surprise for sensibility

In the din they screamed,
Dare to dream, but don’t dream to far
Stay on par with the crowd,
With the hive of little men

And the dead poets go:
Rage, rage against the smothering of your light

The time of the poet is past
Haven’t you read, the form is dead
Drowned out by the drumbeats
Of modern feats the square box
Filled with straw fills the head of the
Walking dead, who, tired and uninspired
Drag themselves from space to space
Killing time between the dashes
Until their bodies are laid to rest in ashes

I wiggle with Sweeny among the nightingales
My tales held close inside
They (that is the mythical they)
Took me aside and in their wrath
Taught me the ways of wine, women and war

I counted the days to my release
But soon found to my dismay
The outside is the same as the inside
Only no one to salute and the mantra
Duty, honour, country dubbed over with
Increase profits and shareholder value

And the dead poets go:
Rage, rage against the smothering of your light

Years pass, the idealism of my youth trodden
Under muddy boots and pinstriped suits
The labour of my work fruit-less, or so it seemed

Until I came upon a woods,
A place I had known before
A path, two choices, which way to go
I heard the dead poets laugh
The choices we chose are half chance
It is all but a dream within a dream
From which we wake and lie drowning
-c.lowe

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