Portrait of the Poet As Landscape

by A.M. Klein

Portrait of the Poet As LandscapeI
Not an editorial-writer, bereaved with bartlett,
mourns him, the shelved Lycidas.
No actress squeezes a glycerine tear for him.
The radio broadcast lets his passing pass.
And with the police, no record. Nobody, it appears,
either under his real name or his alias,
missed him enough to report.
.
It is possible that he is dead, and not discovered.
It is possible that he can be found some place
in a narrow closet, like the corpse in a detective story,
standing, his eyes staring, and ready to fall on his face.
It is also possible that he is alive
and amnesiac, or mad, or in retired disgrace,
or beyond recognition lost in love.
.
We are sure only that from our real society
he has disappeared; he simply does not count,
except in the pullulation of vital statistics-
somebody’s vote, perhaps, an anonymous taunt
of the Gallup poll, a dot in a government table-
but not felt, and certainly far from eminent-
in a shouting mob, somebody’s sigh.

Read the complete poem

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