Michael Swan: Dear Wallace

Dear Wallace,
Thank you for your poem.
It was kind of you to send it.
I love it when people send me poems
and ask me what I think.

To take your questions in order:

Do I think that the words you have chosen
are adequate to capture
the emotion you are attempting to deal with,
or do words, so to speak, fail you?
I don’t know, Wallace,
but they certainly fail me.

Is the image of the warthog on the trampoline
perhaps a little over the top,
you ask.
No, it is not over the top.
It is right under the bottom.

Was it a wise decision
to use terza rima
throughout the poem’s 400 stanzas
or would you have done better
to vary the metrical format a little?
Wallace, in your place
I would recast the whole thing as a limerick.

And then I would carve it
onto a piece of concrete
taken from a heap of builder’s rubble,
using a sharpened teaspoon.
And having done so
I would kiss the poem goodbye
and hurl it into one of those ponds
you get at sewage reprocessing plants.