Thursday, April 22, 2004

Live Poet's Anxiety

Bob Edwards told us on NPR's Morning Edition today that a report published in the Journal of Death Studies says that poets die younger than novelists, playwrights and other writers. Click here for the story. The study's author, James Kaufman, speculates that the cause may be the poet's tendancy to be more tortured and therefore prone to self destruction. Au Contraire!

Live Poet’s Anxiety

Pray tell, if you will, for my mind cannot know it –
What leads to the early demise of the poet?
Enlighten my heavy heart, shackled in strife
Why penning pentameter shortens one’s life
The novelist, dolling out drivel in droves
Lives longer – thus happier, one must suppose
The dire statistics give proof to no reason
For sentencing bards to a much-shortened season
Too easy a knee-jerk to point to depression
The answer may be closer kin to recession
For poets may toil for days on one verse
While Harlequins fly off the shelves – How perverse!
Sadness may serve as the Grim Reaper’s alibi
Truth, though, is found in the cold math of ROI
Poets find life far too costly to cherish
Thus proving the old adage – Publish or Perish!

In terse prose: Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy Zoloft…