Very nearly got lost
In a snowy wood at night.
But fortunately, it turned out all right.
William Butler Yeats
Is accounted one of the greats
So much so that poor John Keats
Now has to correct the pronunciation of everyone he meets.
Ezra Loomis Pound
Wrote verse difficult and profound
The fact that even he couldn’t figure it out
Should suffice to remove any doubt.
Was always at sixes and sevens.
He never could decide exactly
Whether to rhyme slant, or perfectly.
Edward “e e” Estlin Cummings
Marched to the sounds of different drummings.
Without making any apologies
He ended up in some anthologies.
As a poet was brash
His lines rushed out in a lengthy and seemingly unstoppable torrent
And his rhymes were abhorrent.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Was heard on occasion to say
That only the author of Euclid’s Elements
Had ever seen Beauty without habiliments.
Mr. Edward Lear
Was rather queer.
But of course, the word had a different meaning back then
So instead, one should simply say that he preferred men.
Never ate anything smelly. It
Was only understated food
That ever suited his mood.
Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Aware that decent rhymes for Clerihew
Are, alas, very few.
Image: posthumous (of course!) portrait of John Keats by William Hilton, ca. 1822.