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A Year of Poetry – Day 50

I was a Poet!
But I did not know it,
Neither did my Mother,
Nor my Sister nor my Brother.
The Rich were not aware of it;
The Poor took no care of it.
The Reverend Mr. Drewitt
Never knew it.
The High did not suspect it;
The Low could not detect it.
Aunt Sue
Said it was obviously untrue.
Uncle Ned
Said I was off my head:
(This from a Colonial
Was really a good testimonial.)
Still everybody seemed to think
That genius owes a good deal to drink.
So that is how
I am not a poet now,
And why
My inspiration has run dry.
It is no sort of use
To cultivate the Muse
If vulgar people
Can’t tell a village pump from a church steeple.
I am merely apologizing
For the lack of the surprising
In what I write
To-night.
I am quite well-meaning,
But a lot of things are always intervening
Between
What I mean
And what it is said
I had in my head.
It is all very puzzling.
Uncle Ned
Says Poets need muzzling.
He might
Be right.
Good-night!

— Walter Raleigh, Song of Myself

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