To Be or Not To Be a Poet

That is the question.

In choosing my career I thought long and hard.
I scribbled, told stories, but got nowhere fast.
My intent was to be famous like the Bard
or other great poets who lived in the past.

I had to choose one who was not only bright
but, furthermore, he had to be a Briton.
I read some of his verses and saw the light;
I recalled his name, which was Bulwer-Lytton.

The start of one poem was found abhorrent
but for the life of me I can’t see what’s wrong
with stormy nights and rain falling in torrents:
the same line was used for a popular song.

Therefore I decided that what I wanted
was to be a medium so I could call
the soul of a poet who hadn’t been taunted
but who came through was William T. McGonagall.

He was a person with a lot of pizazz
delighting and appalling his audience.
A polished gem, whose middle name was Topaz,
dismissed derisions and never took offence.

Humiliating snubs weren’t what one would wish
but at his readings an unruly crowd
would make impolite catcalls, throw rotten fish;
a rowdy behaviour that shouldn’t be allowed.

I had to conclude that you have to be tough
to withstand the attack of scathing critique.
A creative intellect is not enough,
you have to have an exceptional physique.

© Luigi Pagano 2020

© ionicus 2023
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Great stuff Luigi, and probably fitting in its final observation.


That’s so much fun to read, Luigi. I hadn’t heard of Bulwer-Lytton so did a search that sent me to a website where I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of time in future. As for McGonagall, I had no idea he inspired Spike Milligan, so that has to be worthwhile.
So good to see the site running so well again and such lovely work from everyone.


Ah, McGonagall, my favourite poet! who can forget his immortal lines on the Pentland Hills ‘Though of a barren appearance and some parts steep/ They are covered with fine pasture and sustain flocks of sheep’. You could not have better role model. A worthy addition to the canon.

Tay Bridge

write and let write.

thanks for sharing Luigi

I’d be happier if everybody was writing not reading whether they do let read or not.
Writing is a great method to survive in this clown world and a great therapy for psychological disorders.

I want all people to write even short diary entries or short poems and forget about readers, nobody will ever have to read them and they don’t have to read anyone. Free to share and not share, but what has been shared cannot be unshared. Painting has the same effect and other arts too. It’s helping you create a better privacy, control it. Most people whether they have understood it or not are in a post-traumatic shock, their birth. This disorder follows most of us in our childhood which is the indoctrination period for the state. Later we have society… Read more »


Sometimes I’m lost for words. A simple like button would be apt. I like.


Thanks. I took the thumbs to reflect the comment. Perhaps it is nicer to take the time to comment even if there isn’t a lot to say.


I think all of us ‘creators’ are mediums of one sort or other, Luigi. Like Gee you led me on a path of research for otherwise unknowns to me. Thank you. 🙂


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