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This poem is taken from PN Review 111, Volume 23 Number 1, September - October 1996.

Three Poems Christopher Middleton


The Glummonging

Ah, Thomas Chatterton, I hear
They cut you short,
Those tittering, merry English,
Their phrasing sold, imagination bought.

Your archaisms, real thing or no -
The peede chelandri, faitour, autremete -
Ne buttoned up in golde
your tommy rot,
You laid it at their flat field marshal feet.

Those eighteenth-century smooth gentlemen
Booted your writ away;
Your syntax made a lattice for the tongue,
A welken game their tut-tut could not play.

Pundits looking down ignoble noses,
Comfortable in their camphor privy Lent,
...


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