Some pugilistic poetry

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By John Pawlak

Art often imitates life, and sometimes life imitates art. But when the artist is a poet, life is most often ridiculed than mimicked.
 When I was young, it seemed that the lure of poetry was limited to the “classics” — Frost, Blake, Dickinson, Thomas, Sandburg, Tennyson, Poe.
 Ah yes. The masters.
 One cannot deny the art of poetry when yelling not-so-gently to that good night, riding along with the six hundred of that light brigade into the valley of death, or considering whether or not to take that road less traveled.
 I remember thinking that someone should put Whitman’s “I hear America singing” to music, perhaps something with a nice patriotic chant. Or Lawson’s “Grey Wolves Grey” set to a spirited marching tune. Either that, or a nice jazz beat.
 And I still don’t understand why my English teacher marked me off for errors in punctuation and grammar. E.E. Cummings butchered the language and he was called a genius.
 But even with my usual disregard for anything that wasn’t math, I found myself admiring the sheer beauty of some poems. A poem of joy is indeed a thing of beauty.

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