While Butler, needy wretch, was yet alive
No generous patron would a dinner give.
See him, when starved to death and turned to dust,
Presented with a monumental bust!
The poet’s fate is here in emblem shown;
He asked for bread, and he received a stone.
~ attr. Samuel Wesley (1691-1739)
*****This will be a short post this week, as I wish to take time away from blogging for the writing of poetry, for which I may (some sweet day) be rewarded with… a stone. This poem (and the contemplation of writing more poetry) does beg the question: Why do we poets bother? Certainly not for a patron, or a meal, or a monument, as is implied in Wesley’s words.
Why do you write? Please ease my mind, and my writing burden, by filling in some of this empty space with your thoughts on the matter.
ReferenceThe Oxford Book of Short Poems, edited by P.J. Kavanagh and James Michie (Oxford University Press, 1987)