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From today's Writer's Almanac
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: September 08, 2004 09:49PM

This was in today's Writer's Almanac email-


"To A Frustrated Poet"

by R.J. Ellmann,

This is to say
I know
You wish you were in the woods,
Living the poet life,
Not here at a formica topped table
In a meeting about perceived inequalities in the benefits and allowances offered to
employees of this college,
And I too wish you were in the woods,
Because it's no fun having a frustrated poet
In the Dept. of Human Resources, believe me.
In the poems of yours that I've read, you seem ever intelligent and decent and patient in a way
Not evident to us in this office,
And so, knowing how poets can make a feast out of trouble,
Raising flowers in a bed of drunkenness, divorce, despair,
I give you this check representing two weeks' wages
And ask you to clean out your desk today
And go home
And write a poem
With a real frog in it
And plums from the refrigerator,
So sweet and so cold.

Re: From today's Writer's Almanac
Posted by: peternsz (
Date: September 08, 2004 10:04PM

Get's right to the heart of it. Picture Dr. Williams at the sink, back to the patient as she pours out her troubles to him, the water running into the sink, and the doctor half-listening, scrapping the label off the jar, because they are so hard to come by.

the life of the poet,


Re: From today's Writer's Almanac
Posted by: lg (
Date: September 08, 2004 10:38PM

There are pros and cons in relation to the topic being discussed in this poem.
For instance, I have more time now to write than when I was working, but work gave me something substantive to write about.


Re: From today's Writer's Almanac
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: September 09, 2004 03:18AM

Pam, you remind me how often Writer's Almanac brings me joy: thanks.
I don't know about retirement. I was the guy in the poem, for sure: now I have no excuse for writing crap.


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