Serious Ballade

Picture a poet's dismal fate
doomed from the start to moon and mope
over some morbid second-rate
hand-me-down lines. Poor misanthrope,
humourless, quite devoid of hope,
mouthing a mantra endlessly -
is there no end beyond the rope?
Let me be taken seriously.

Hear me denounce the sins of State,
parody Cabinet as a dope-
ridden debacle, or debate
whether a certain isotope
turning the sky to heliotrope
gobbles up, irreversibly,
ozone, and though you answer - nope,
let me be taken seriously.

Though I inversions perpetrate,
though I with gay abandon lope
from cliche to cliche, though with bate-
d breath I for strange enjambments grope,
though I repeat the feeble ope-
ning of my stanzas tediously,
though I take bathos without soap,
let me be taken seriously.

Faber & Faber, Blake and Pope
grind in your pages. Why not me?
This is no worse than Wendy Cope.
Let me be taken seriously.

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