He who turned our English tongue
into songs no one had sung
now has fallen and now lies
in a place that gives no prize,
under several feet of loam
in a narrow wooden home.
Rhymes no longer meet his ears.
Now the autumn frost appears
not to delve where he now sleeps
in a land where no one weeps;
where no dog lies past a pine;
no one cherishes his swine.
Now our formalists are left
in a tidy little cleft.
Like the Spartans at the gates,
each composes and then waits.
Time will tell if taste returns
with some newer well-wrought urns.
John J. Brugaletta is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including his Selected Poems (Future Cycle Press). His poems have appeared in Extreme Formal Poems, The Formalist, Measure, The Random House Treasury of Light Verse, and TRINACRIA. He is Professor Emeritus of literature at California State University, Fullerton.