Why is this chicken so upset? Does it have anything to do with his reasons for crossing the road? I’m still working on which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I do believe I’ve figured out why the chicken was so eager to get to the other side. Inspired by Theodore Roethke’s villanelle, “The Waking,” my villanelle and Roethke’s both appear in the excellent Everyman’s Library anthology, Villanelles, edited by Annie Finch and Marie-Elizabeth Mali.
This website now brings you not one, but two poems that explore what would have happened if some of the most famous poems had been written by chickens.
John Keats, pictured here, is just one of the poetic geniuses whose wordiness makes the Norton Anthology so thick and unwieldy. Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Shelley, Tennyson, Homer, Elizabeth Browning, and Bishop are equally guilty. Not to worry. I have done something about it. Now, thanks to my efforts, you can read many of their great poems in limerick form.
This is a poem explaining why we named our son Lincoln. I wrote it shortly before he was born. Although we’d already chosen the name, there was still time to change our minds, but after I wrote this poem I realized there was no turning back.