Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”


The title says it all.





The problem with this wretched stuff

Is that it ain’t obscure enough.

Anyone can plainly see

What it means, and that must be

The death of any poem that’s wrote.

The meaning must be so remote

That no one can make head nor tail

Of it if you want it to sell.

Oh, that these were the good old days

When any scop could sing his lays

Of battles the king had recently fought.

His verses were not judged as naught

If someone recognized the deeds

They sought to capture—no, indeed!

That is what we need today:

Poems that have something to say,

Clothed in metaphor to be sure,

But let them not be so obscure

That no one can tell what we’re after,

Or they may hang us from the rafters!


Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds!  Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on February 6, 2012, in Donald Williams, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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