Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EFFICIENCY, by FRANKLIN PIERCE ADAMS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

EFFICIENCY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: For one who is volitient
Last Line: I never thought of you.
Alternate Author Name(s): F. P. A.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


FOR one who is volitient
That matters move along,
It's fine to be efficient
In labour or in song.


Avoid all kinds of effort,
Shun every stress and strain.
Don't put a needless burden
Upon your heart and brain.


Now, in the opening stanza
Which started rather fine,
I made the rhymes alternate—
Or every other line.


("Which started" is a mouthful
And difficult to say.
I might have made it smoother
By working half a day.)


(Nor is the word alTERnate;
I find, when I consult
The dictionary, accent
Is on th' antepenult).


But if I stopped to bother
With little things like this,
The wear upon my engine
Would make it skip, or miss.


They tell me that the "Elegy"
Composed by Thomas Gray
Took seven years to finish,
At seven hours a day.


How absolutely sinful
To waste that precious time
In polishing and pruning
The roughnesses of rhyme!


At eight nineteen this evening
As true as I'm alive,
I wrote that opening stanza—
Now it's eight twenty-five.


Efficiency! That does it!
Efficiency's the word!
It makes you feel that labour
Is utterly absurd.


Observe the Roman numerals;
Although they are no use,
I find them, altogether,
Efficient as the deuce.


Observe the 9-point Old Style—
A clear and lovely face.
I find it efficacious
Annihilating space.


I point with prideful finger
To this efficient rhyme
Composed with hardly any
Expenditure of time.


Composed with absolutely
No waste of heart or brain,
No prodigal rhythmatics,
No lyric legerdemain.


Having conserved my forces,
And husbanded my art,
I'm just as fresh this minute
As I was at the start.


I waste no "punch," no climax,
For it would be a crime
To put a timely wallop
In an efficient rhyme.


Here's my efficient poem.
You think it's bad? You do?
Like most efficient persons,
I never thought of you.

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