Per Contra Spring 2009 Light Verse Supplement


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Daniel Hoffman

Cal Coolidge in Amherst,

Being shown her desk,
Her inkwell and her pen,--“Wrote,
Did she? I dictate.”


Interview with Robert Graves

“In your eighties, how
Do you still write those love poems?”
--“Twenty-minute naps.”


In Kephart’s Camping and Woodcraft (1916)
This Hunter’s Haiku:

A good tobacco
Pouch: the scrotum of buck
Tanned, with the hair on.



An apothegm

is a proverb
that hasn't caught on yet,

like this one.



A Poe Taster

Didn’t you know that Edgar Allan Poe
Sought grief-counselling, took Lexapro?
--By endless mourning then no longer smitten,
Could leave all lachrymose laments to diverse
Obsequies by Thomas Holley Chivers,
But we’ve not seen the poems he must have written:
Like Nathaniel Parker Willis’, say?
No, no, much wittier, his vers de societé;
Surely his jeux d’esprit surely deserve a tranche
Of the renown of Christopher Pearcse Cranch,
Were he but free of personal disaster
He might well be our minor light verse master--
Poe’s döppelganger!—and his abiding dream,
Thwarted, for aye, by that one relentless theme.

“A Poe Taster” was published first in Per Contra
Fall 2006.



Daniel Hoffman - Click Here for Bio

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