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 Telegram  To The Poet and Critic Edwin Denby on his sixtieth birthday


Outrageous DENBY, scandal of our age!

Does Death still hesitate to blot your page?

Asleep all day, only by night you're seen,

Gloating on sarabandes by Balanchine.

When clocks on Eighth Street sound the witching hour

Then to the full we feel your evil power.

Then hoodlums by the pricking of their thumbs

(And vice-versa) know that DENBY comes.

Compact of vice, you lord it in your den,

Spreading your poison amid younger men.

Poets from pubs you tear, dancers from school,

And every night's a season of misrule.

Enough! Begone! Prepare to meet your fate.

A younger generation's at the gate.

From whiter houses whiter men must rise

Whom DENBY's paradoxes won't surprise.

With DENBY gone the country stands a chance,

Papers will publish, knowledge will advance-

Though, rendered radio-active by his glance,

Dancers may versify and poets start to dance.


Richard Buckle

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012