For My Contemporaries

By J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985
How time reverses   
The proud in heart!   
I now make verses   
Who aimed at art.

But I sleep well.   
Ambitious boys
Whose big lines swell   
With spiritual noise,

Despise me not!
And be not queasy   
To praise somewhat:   
Verse is not easy.

But rage who will.
Time that procured me   
Good sense and skill   
Of madness cured me.

J. V. Cunningham, “For My Contemporaries” from The Exclusions of a Rhyme: Poems and Epigrams. Copyright © 1960 by J. V. Cunningham. Reprinted with the permission of Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Exclusions of a Rhyme: Poems and Epigrams (Alan Swallow Press, 1960)

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Poet J. V. Cunningham 1911–1985

Subjects Poetry & Poets, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

J. V. Cunningham, poet, critic, editor, and general man of letters, gained the high regard of his literary colleagues for his concise, witty, epigrammatic poetry. In a 1961 study, The Poetry of J. V. Cunningham, his mentor Yvor Winters called him "the most consistently distinguished poet writing in English today, and one of the finest in the language." About the same time, Thom Gunn wrote in a Yale Review article on The . . .

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SUBJECT Poetry & Poets, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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