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Editor's Selection of Poems
Free Verse

by Robert Graves

I now delight   
In spite   
Of the might   
And the right   
Of classic tradition, 
In writing   
And reciting   
Straight ahead,   
Without let or omission,   
Just any little rhyme
In any little time   
That runs in my head;   
Because, Ive said,   
My rhymes no longer shall stand arrayed
Like Prussian soldiers on parade
That march,   
Stiff as starch,   
Foot to foot,   
Boot to boot,   
Blade to blade,
Button to button,   
Cheeks and chops and chins like mutton.
No! No!   
My rhymes must go   
Turn ee, twist ee,
Twinkling, frosty,   
Will-o-the-wisp-like, misty;   
Rhymes I will make   
Like Keats and Blake
And Christina Rossetti,
With run and ripple and shake.   
How pretty   
To take   
A merry little rhyme   
In a jolly little time
And poke it,   
And choke it,   
Change it, arrange it,   
Straight-lace it, deface it,   
Pleat it with pleats, 
Sheet it with sheets   
Of empty conceits,   
And chop and chew,   
And hack and hew,   
And weld it into a uniform stanza,
And evolve a neat,   
Complacent, complete,   
Academic extravaganza! 
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