You and your Pale Fire
Uncle Vladimir has left us something from which we can learn.
He penned a book in verse that novel was.
And we, the beneficiaries, avoid it at our peril.
For in it he tells of teachers, nymphs and wives
And utters the thoughts we thought but could not say.
And, thus, he billows the mental sheet that is the life
Of a man who lived with wife on pillows and in chairs
With whom, over an uncomely daughter, he passed stares.
Vladimir, portly as a Hitchcock, wrote in English
Forsaking the warm Russian schlock
To chortle at the foibles of those who think
That they in universities do not stink as do the
Unwashed who live without degrees—
Who just watch television with afghans on their knees—
While they in gothic towers think lofty thoughts
Of all that is and of all the many oughts.
They hover over us for some reason
Despite the fact their great thoughts will never season
The lives of all those for whom they think they wrote.
Forsook, for soothe, for soot—and therefore why
Do we think so very much before we die?
When it’s about the end of Act Five that we really wonder:
When will intimate death our doorbell ring?
Suppressing the under-roof into a poof:
When surely our thinking shall cease.
Or will it?