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Death Sentence
This is possibly the world’s longest poem to consist of only on
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.
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By the way, don’t worry about the random page numbers: The verses were prepared for appearance in book form – but it’s hard to find somebody to publish poetry that rhymes.

John Slim