In defense of the word ‘and’ (a poem)

Another bit of Skeltonic verse that I wrote on Day 28 of National Poetry Writing Month, after I had already posted my poem for the day. A problem I often have with poetry in print is that some poets format their work in such a way that the manner of presentation distracts me from the poem itself. One of the things that makes a poem unreadable for me is when a poet substitutes every occurrence of the word and with the ampersand (&). Though it may make sense in a title or a name, it looks horrible when used in text, suggesting either laziness or affectation.

In defense of the word ‘and’

Who needs an ampersand
when you’ve got a hand
and know how to write and?
How can you stand
to effectively ban
a perfectly good word
everywhere it occurs?
Tell me, what text
will you ban next
regardless of how it wrecks
an otherwise beautiful poem
in such an elegant tome?

(28 April 2017—posted April 29th)

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