Literary Yard

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‘A Proper Duke of Devonshire’ and other poems

By: KJ Hannah Greenberg

A Proper Duke of Devonshire

He bit the apple, a proper Duke of Devonshire.
The fruit’s tang, almost piquant, certainly sour,
Swirled; he crunched rhythmically to big ideas
He knew tree gifts ought not to be considered

Regarding to his Malus pumila’s remnant,
That is, the core, putative as carcinogenic,
No companion, neither mook nor equerry,
Witnessed his last bite of pome; he gorged

Means between extremes, ordinarily, grant
“Righteous” actions social pay, name high
Human aspirations—virtue gets interpreted
By arts, becomes rhetoric of inexpediency,

When emerging from hoods shorn of glory,
Choices might exceed personal culpability.
(No prescriptions for individual reflections
Escape vigilance to shame or enters upon

Exhortation’s speechifying looks deliberative,
Studies accusation/defense, voices: injustices,
Degrees of wrongdoing, kindness’s relativity
(Privatized rituals emphasize rules en masse,
Not secrets.)

State affairs’ paramount fabricators single out
Scheming civil & military consuls, act as final
Decision-makers apropos peace, differentiate
Only form or reasoned bases, never substance,
Else ethics.

Elenchi, logical refutations, might morph critical
Analyses of rhetors. Behavioral norms, likewise,
Whether hermeneutical or empirical, reproduce
Verity proportionate to sources. Fairness lingers


Relationship reports linking interpersonal
Entities might include words encouraging friendship.
New accounts may well describe odd, inimitable requests
For expediency (timeworn ones versions antagonize, contrast.)
In villages further empowered, derivative conceptions
Illustrate the value of teaching social skills to ease
Most acculturation. Thereafter, the validation
Of common politics can smoothly work.

Divergence stays interesting, not evil.
Offstage characters must be believed as wise.
Any measure deemed proper is worth exploring.
The greatest possible participation in events counts.
Yet, the polarization of capital and labor in the name
Of monitoring economic fluxes, akin to violations
Of self-control, ordinarily engenders suffering
For many in of our contemporary populous.

Conversely, widespread assemblies (versus
Despots’ puppets actively questing for fame),
Might constitute the closest attainable imitation
Of leaving competitive achievements to provenance.
Beauty resulting from hardships, on balance, is fairly
Heroic business, offers visible artifacts remodeled
Into rubrics resembling old, objectified ideas
Regarding overarching matters of mens rea.

Hence, we best benefit from public changes
Bringing bravura’s essential, elevated elements.
Eventually, if “leaders” are bumped off, we’ll replace
Them, not integrate aristocrats into our plebian culture.
In this age of general moral laxity, schooling virtue
Means devoting time, patience to vanquishing
Turgidity, puerility, pretension, & vulgarity,
Encouraging others’ focused emotions.


Unnecessary complexity, i.e., all manner of elaborate schemes
Never fashioned improved communication among folks. Shared
Language, also culture, rather requires certain investments in others’

To become congeners, we must urge compassionate assessments,
Ought to create emotional hawsers, strive to conform only to good
Standards of behavior. As long as hierarchy’s normative, we’ll break

Better if delvings embrace our ability to ascertain morality and
Nudge us to act suitably. Sound communication’s simultaneously
Ends then means, distinguishes innocence from guilt, plus elevates
Pulchritudinous qualities.

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