Dear Dead Poet

Time flies, Lord Byron, often I agree,
but to write of growing old at thirty?
Granting, in the early nineteenth century,
low life expectancy, your words hit me
like a wayward croquet mallet.

This reader was inclined to ponder:
sincere assertion or a posture?
Returning through your word-lanes at a canter,
I sensed, neither.

Sincerity is here but
does not summon
squandered summer,
as you term it.

Your words summon days of love charmed
by a girl, flower in curling hair, or
licentious wife with proper pompadour,
and ambition crowned by fame.

Byron, you did not squander your summer.

Squandering would have led you near nowhere,
no love-place, casual or committed,
sublimely, to one other,
while ambition, unfulfilled, rotted brown
in a crater on the moon—
where, dear renowned poet,
any philosophy
would have eluded you.


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Most often, Thomas Gagnon has published articles, reviews, and essays, for Bostonneighborhood newspapers and online literary magazines. Upon reading The Book of Hours:Prayers to a Lowly God, by Rainer Maria Rilke, Gagnon has written poetry as well. Several years ago, he self-published a collection of poems, Pop Poetry, in which he intended to combine traditional poetry forms, like the villanelle, with the rhyme and rhythm of the pop song.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles.