To a Dead Poet Upon Commencing My Latest Critical Essay

I feel as though I should apologize
For those truths I am about to abuse,
But an apology does not excuse
An argument of enterprising lies.
The dead, you see, we're free to denigrate,
The living too (though often they fight back),
And now you're silent, unable to react,
A voiceless victim, libeless, in state.

Dead poets, like Iphigenia, are
Soft sacrifices to immediate ends,
Led upon some careful critical altar
And quickly slain for a burst of wind.
I ask forgiveness, then, for what I am about to say,
But your body's here and lifeless and Troy so very far away.


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