Self-Help

By Michael Ryan b. 1946 Michael Ryan
What kind of delusion are you under?
The life he hid just knocked you flat.
You see the lightning but not the thunder.

What God hath joined let no man put asunder.
Did God know you’d marry a rat?
What kind of delusion are you under?

His online persona simply stunned her
as it did you when you started to chat.
You see the lightning but not the thunder.

To the victors go the plunder:
you should crown them with a baseball bat.
What kind of delusion are you under?

The kind that causes blunder after blunder.
Is there any other kind than that?
You see the lightning but not the thunder,

and for one second the world’s a wonder.
Just keep it thrilling under your hat.
What kind of delusion are you under?
You see the lightning but not the thunder.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2013).

 Michael  Ryan

Biography

Poet and memoirist Michael Ryan was born in St Louis, Missouri. He studied at the University of Notre Dame and Claremont Graduate School, and earned an MFA and PhD from the University of Iowa. Ryan’s first volume, Threats Instead of Trees (1974), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His second collection, In Winter (1981), was selected by Louise Glück for the National Poetry Series. God Hunger (1989) won the Lenore . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Relationships, Home Life

Poetic Terms Villanelle

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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