“If I’ll Be Made Emperor of the World”

Poet

 

 

 

 

 

If ever I’ll be made Emperor of the World,
the first thing I’ll do is make poetry
a crime. Yes, that’s right. I’ll banish it
from the face of the earth. I’ll make the act
of writing a verse punishable by death.

If you’re in love, say you’re in love. If you
hate life, say you hate life. If you’re
petrified by death, say you’re petrified by death.
If desires are eating you inside and out,
say desires are eating you inside and out.

If you are overcome with joy, say
you are overcome with joy. Say it plainly.
Don’t play around with riddles and subtlety.
Don’t try to be clever, or deep, or poignant,
or I’ll have your head cut off and fed to the beasts.

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