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Back when my son was two years old, I wrote him this poem.

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.  

Archaic Torso of Barbie

Winner of the 2006 XJ Kennedy Parody Award. 

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.

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