Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BREVITY, by LEVI BISHOP

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BREVITY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How many strive for the sublime
Last Line: Before they fall asleep.
Subject(s): Writing & Writers

How many strive for the sublime,
And volumes write in prose or rhyme,
Nor thoughts or words condense
Forgetful that the long essay,
Can seldom live to distant day,
Though loaded down with sense.

We therefore try a shorter section;
And this, upon mature reflection,
And not from levity.
And here perhaps it ought to end --
To lengthen out does not amend,
This happy brevity.

Behold of spicy verse,
This rare example;
And of this writing terse,
A simple sample.

And terser still,
No loose excess;
Behold the skill!
The rare success!

If wit the point supply,
In brief expression;
How heavy, tedious, dry,
Is long digression!

Then ye who speak or write or teach,
And all who argue, sing or preach,
This merit is the chief;
And do not let enthusiasm,
Or oratoric cataclysm,
Prevent your being brief.

The task is difficult, we know;
The subject will upon us grow,
But still the promise keep:
To say direct what you've to say,
And let the hearers go away,
Before they fall asleep.

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