D. A. Prince: On Writing Verse

Sisyphus had his boulder; I, the feat
of moving words around the page, until
they find their chosen metre, hold the beat
and rhyme (or not), be lyrical (not shrill).

Sisyphus had one task only: reach the peak.
The poem has a myriad wily needs.
Originality is one; it has to speak
fresh and new-made (not clogged with Georgian weeds).

Sisyphus’ rock would keep its shape; this verse
keeps trying to be a clunky villanelle,
or take the sonnet’s garb (but not too terse)
or shed all chains of form, run free, rebel.

Sisyphus knew the route: straight up. These lines
meander through fine metaphors, discuss,
philosophise, elaborate designs.
It’s tough. He had it easy, Sisyphus.

River between trees