Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,

That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,

Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,

Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,

Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,

Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow

Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting Invention’s stay:

Invention, Nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows,

And others’ feet still seemed but strangers in my way.

Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,

Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:

“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart and write.”


Notes:

POL Participants: On January 16, 2017, we made a correction in the second line of this poem: "That the dear She might" has been corrected to "That she, dear she, might". The student may recite either version for the 2016-7 competition.

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion