Anatomy Class (by Jerry Siegel)

(To My Freshmen, with Apologies to Northrop Frye)

There it is:
A still-living poem.
Some critic or teacher must have
Done this to it.
Put it on the table, boys.
Gently, now.

Check for vitality,
Analyze the theme,
Examine its metaphors,
Lay bare the quivering imagery
And expose the throbbing

Let’s see that history.
Two hundred years old?
No wonder it seems in
Rough shape.
As you can see, the relevance is clearly herniated.
Diction? Grossly inefficient.
Impossibly high allusion level.

Between the varicose values.
Just as I suspected!
A great mass of dense meaning
Complicated by a massively conscious rhythm.

There’s nothing to be done about it.
Hopeless –
Not a chance of reconstructing this one
Into useful lyrics
Or a slogan.
Close it up
And send it off
To the anthology.


(A found poem, written sometime in the mid-1970’s, by a young professor)


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