Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

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Seven what?

Seven syllables would be

long enough for any line.

With a terse verse form, you see,

I can get along just fine.

But seven feet!  I must admit that seems exceeding wide,

as if to start out on a voyage, a full round-Britain trip.

I’ll need a ton of words to fill each line from side to side,

verbosely quite enough to float or sink a battle-ship.

But perhaps instead I will go the whole hog, the full nine yards: turn the paper onto its side and write each line

in something approaching or aping the style of that wonderfully eccentric twentieth-century American poet,

Mr Ogden Nash, and carry on without much attention to metre, until I can mark its end with such a strong and obvious rhyme

that even if my audience hear it spoken aloud rather than seeing it on the page they will certainly know it.