A Poetry Syllabus
{An Umbrella Special Feature}


W. F. Lantry

received his Licence and Maîtrise from the Université de Nice, an M.A. in English from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

He is the recipient of the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award.

His poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Autumn Sky Poetry, The Chimaera and The Tower Journal.

He serves as the Director of Academic Technology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.


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CliffsNotes on The Origin of the Species “There is one story, and one story only that will prove worth your telling” Robert Graves

It’s not about the finches. At some point,
two hundred thousand years ago, a man
began to sing. Inside his brain a gene
clicked to fruition and the words came out
in song for the first time. A woman heard
and stopped to concentrate on what he sang.

And would it matter that he sang of her
or sang of what he saw around him when
she was close by? The only thing we know
is she kept listening, and when night came,
did not return to sleep with warriors
or with those men who tracked abundant game.

Instead, she listened as their darkness fell
to his creation, reinvented for
her ears alone, to fascinate, to hold
her presence, and she saw a different earth
coming to be. Her children kept this skill
and in their reconceptions carried on

that first resounding verse becoming art
in its embodiment of sculptured love,
beauty and lust combined in figurines,
all mirroring the essence of her form
and each a remnant of that fertile song
that charmed her thoughts one single afternoon.