But What?

But what, what? do we make of liberty?
That freedom found from lines of various length
And accidents of rhymes, that though our strength
Would rather fail, we scarce admit sincerity
While wishing for… what? Did Whitmanian alacrity
Serve us in the end? Did taste for slant
Replace those even cadences of cant?
Is this the end of Imagist democracy?
I cannot speak for poets past who wrote
With blazing precision, nor for those who started
Rules (those indecent things) we love to quote,
And wonder at how revolutions departed
From their purpose, as now we just enjoy
Those coldly curious curses they employ.


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