Only the Lofty

The poems that win prizes are safe and too-much alike.  —poetry critic

The winners are dull and too akin,
the poets, god-forbid, proteges
of judges. 

It seems a false quibble.
It’s not as if a scant resource
is being carelessly consumed.

I suppose you would say
this doggerel crowds out
the bona fide, the potent,

the enduring and profound.
Ones we recite in classrooms,
mention in vestibules. Perhaps

it is so, a seasonable fact;
even poetry has a popular front,
a semblance that pleases—
until it doesn’t.

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