A Poet’s Manifesto, by Joel Gosse

I would like to leave some sort of immortal mark
Before my mortal eyes go dank and dark
What feat or project can one duly undertake
Before one’s measured days winnow to a wake?

A painter of wild lilies or idyllic scenes;
Still life with pears, an easel for my means.
But the paintings may crack and fade over time,
Yet — that would never happen to my rhyme.

An architect of buildings ceilinged to the sky;
Designed with edifices to delight the eye.
But they may crumble and collapse with coming age,
Yet — that would not happen to my printed page.

A person for politic of country domain;
Rule democratic and equally plain,
But hearts and minds of many may become malign,
And misruled, unlike my metered line.

A poet like Chaucer, Herbert, Herrick, or Yeats,
Lines ascribed in life, love, or lithesome states,
Carefully flowing freely from my pen,
And by gifted grace follow these men.

So here is my offering for one to peruse,
Lifted lightly by the touch of some muse,
To live on long after my own demise,
Scanned in perpetuity to any purveyors’s eyes.

Joel Gosse, Mineral Point