With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a Wednesday dreary, while I laboured, sad and weary,
Over many a dry and tedious poem by some novice poor,
While I looked for some redeeming feature, something helpful seeming,
In my head a voice was screaming, screaming "what a bloody bore"
"It's impossible," I muttered, "what an awful chore;
This is trite, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, how I wanted to dismember,
And cremate each limb and member and to wallow in the gore.
In my mind I pictured terror; means to punish every error
Each one crueller, harsher, rarer, rarer than the one before,
For the dull and prurient writing which I sadly sat before,
Turgid now and evermore.

And the urge I felt for burning every paper I was turning
Thrilled me---filled me with a wild elation never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"It's some student pen excreting what he thinks is metaphor
Just some student pen excreting what he thinks is metaphor.
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," wrote I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, this your ditty, makes me gently sob with pity,
It's not moving, deep or witty, pretty, sweet or strong or raw,
I forgot it as I read it," Here a double underscore;---
"It's just words, and nothing more."

As I looked at what I'd written, it seemed cruel and hard-bitten
But yet, truthful, truth no teacher ever dared to write before
And I knew that if dared it, took my soul and starkly bared it
And thus fearlessly declared it, that I'd soon be shown the door
This I told myself, in whispers, "Anne, you'll soon be shown the door.
It's disaster; say no more."

Back I went to vainly gazing, seeking something there worth praising,
Once again I read right through it, I continued to explore
'Maybe,' thought I, 'the alignment, might show something of refinement'
In the length of this assignment, there is nothing to deplore
And in print and presentation, there's still nothing to deplore
I'll say that, and nothing more."

Grading 'C' I flung the poem, on the heap of marked work growing,
Then I looked at the remaining, with a sigh much like a roar
Any jot of inspiration would appear an aberration
Midst this lingual devastation, that was littering my floor.
Lying mutely on the carpet, littering my chamber floor
Work, just work, and nothing more.

Then a name I saw that gave me some small hope, and smiling bravely
I attacked the task with vigour, for I'd seen the name before
And the last time that I read it, there was work that I could credit
With ability to edit, and to turn a metaphor
To write strong and worthwhile verses and to turn a metaphor
And the name was Trevor Moore

And I revelled in his rhyming, in the flow and in the timing ,
Though his subject sentimental, little revelation bore;
For you cannot help agreeing that a literary being
Is bound to smile at seeing words they're able to adore
Language dancing on the paper that they're able to adore
From the pen of Trevor Moore

But too soon that script was finished, and my happiness diminished
That one piece, and then the next one only angst had to outpour
Nothing more than anguished bleeding, in the poem I was reading
No finesse within the screeding of another wordy bore
And I had to find some promise in this other wordy bore
How I longed for Trevor Moore

Growing sadder by the second, I surveyed the pile and reckoned
I'd be lucky if it held another 'A' for me to score
Duty is a stubborn master, and each feeble new disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till my head and eyes were sore,---
Till my heart was dull and leaden and my head and eyes were sore
Still seeking --- Trevor Moore

For a moment I saw, shining, something seeming more than whining
But soon it had descended into sloppiness, I saw
And the spelling grew erratic, and the language more fanatic
Wheezing to an end asthmatic hardly worth the oath I swore
Hardly worth the plangent, bitter, sharp and raucous oath I swore
This was no new Trevor Moore

Thus I sat engaged in marking, on another piece embarking
Sighing at the sable paper and the silver ink it bore
And again I sought words civil, just to criticise this drivel
Though my soul began to shrivel and my mind began to roar
Started silently to shrivel with my mind's beginning roar
'Where's the skill of Trevor Moore?'

Then, methought, the sky grew darker, with the shade of some dead marker
Killed by kindliness and patience as he marked the scripts of yore
"Wretch," he said, "be not despairing - of these works with errors glaring
Cease, oh cease this sad comparing, to the one you marked before
There's no point in ever caring for the 'A' you marked before
There's no second Trevor Moore."

"Tutor!" said I, "honest seeming!--tutor still, if ghost or dreaming!
Whether madness sent, or whether pity brought you to my door
Desolate, am I, and tired, seeking always verse inspired
In these pieces we required --tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there talent hiding?--tell me--tell me I implore!"
He said "Only Trevor Moore"

"Tutor!" said I, "honest seeming!--tutor still, if ghost or dreaming!
By that muse that keeps us writing --by those words we both adore--
Tell me now for I grow grimmer, could there be a distant glimmer,
Even just a silver shimmer, of the beauty I look for?
Just the merest, haziest shimmer, of the beauty I look for?"
He said only "Trevor Moore"

"If that's all your comfort, leave me! Your advice begins to peeve me.
Go away and let me plod on through this dull and thankless chore.
This will take me many hours, and your vast prophetic powers
Show me only weeds, not flowers! - Bugger off, you prosy bore!
So, begone now, go! Away, I said -- begone, you prosy bore!"
He went, saying "Trevor Moore"

And the poems, never-ending, all are blending, all are blending
Into one great mess of oneness, stark and white upon the floor
And his words come back to haunt me, with each paper, still they taunt me.
And I cannot let them daunt me though he seemed so sad and sure;
I must keep my hopes up always, yet he seemed so sad and sure
Is there only --- Trevor Moore?

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