Yikes! Poetry Too?
Although best known as a songwriter and lyricist, Tom is also a poet whose work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Descant and several other poetry magazines. This page will feature some of his poems, old and new.
I have been reading Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled, and taking up his challenge of writing poems in a variety of verse forms. The results are seldom profound, but can be strangely satisfying--largely because of the sense of having solved a technical conundrum. Here is my first exercise, in the verse form made famous by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy:
To write in terza rima is my aim,
as Dante (in Italian) chose to do.
This first attempt is fatuous, but game,
and I’ll get better as the lines renew
(at least I hope I will–no guarantees).
I know that my competitors are few:
Young poets never dream that rhyme can please.
They all opine that metre’s had its day,
and prosody’s a lingering disease.
Yet still among the tercets I will play,
with rhyme-scheme ABA BCB D
et cetera, et cetera. Okay?
Go ye and write free verse, and let me be.
Tom Lips, April, 2021
I began writing something approximating verse when I was 11 years old, and I am still learning. Poetry, good or bad, arises from observation, experience, and the sheer love of playing with language.