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Death Sentence
Published by John Slim. © John Slim 2011.
Poems that rhyme, 47Alcester Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B50 1JT  Tel: 01527 872664
THIS was never intended to be a pile of protests.
All I did was choose a few subjects and wax
lyrical. No intention of marching in the streets or
waving the bloodied banner.

Funny, how things don’t work out.
Now that it’s too late, now that I have blown it, it has dawned
on me that everything that follows is nevertheless throwing
another stone, raising another shout – all without my having
had to gear myself up for it.
It’s simply that I have had the sheer cheek to put a bit of work
into my poems: I’ve actually made them rhyme and scan,
instead of choosing a chunk of prose, chopping it up into lines
of arbitrary length, delivering it in tones of passion or
awestruck wonder and waiting to see what happens – which is
what you have to do nowadays if you expect to be called a
poet.
Who was the work-shy genius who thought of it?
So yes, I now realise that what follows may correctly be seen
as a protest against the sort of stuff that gets people
recognised as poets these days. As I point out somewhere –
with rhyme and rhythm, naturally – it’s interesting that among
the many words in the English language that don’t rhyme with
any other word are poem, poet and poetry.
It’s just a shame that so many would-be poets have taken this
as a hint and used it as an excuse to churn out stuff that must
have the late Keats, Shelley and the rest of the hard-working
boys turning in their graves.
John Slim
This is possibly the world’s longest poem to consist of only on
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