The Poet’s Lament

Geri Danton
1 min readJan 10, 2020

When you’re relaxed or bored at home

Why would you sit and read a poem

When you could listen to music instead

And soon find that you’re nodding your head

Or clapping your hands or tapping your feet

Right along with the music’s beat

It’s biomusicology

Which always beats philology

We shared music with whales and birds

Long before we ever had words

I’ll listen to a song myself

While my books of poetry stay on the shelf

Poetry set to music will

Delight and never fail to thrill

And even if the lyrics are blather

If the tune is good it’ll hardly matter

So what’s a tone deaf poet to do?

Why, get themselves a musical crew

Want your poetry to live on?

You’d better find an Elton John

Who’ll turn it into a popular song

They’ll get the fame, but you’ll tag along

And if the lyrics get forgotten

Or the fans all think they’re rotten

At least they got heard by a crowd

Because the words were sung aloud

Instead of simply read or spoken

And may I add by that same token

When your poem’s set to melody

You’ll like it better too, you’ll see



Geri Danton

I’m a grad student with a background in evolutionary biology who likes to write about science, politics, and art