{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Robert Donohue

lives and works on Long Island, New York.

His poetry has appeared in Measure, The Raintown Review and The Evansville Review.

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The Languid

A hundred years ago there was a poet:
Trumbull Stickney. He was a Harvard man
And he was languid. Harvard! And languid!
That was shocking then; I’ve seen a photograph
And there he is, a cigarette in mouth,
Relaxing in a William Morris chair
As if the world were made of passing phantoms.
Pep rallies started up to combat him
But Trumbull stayed languid despite it all
And died of brain cancer. His poetry
Is languid, too. It’s filled with aged youth
And sighs. Its very charming if you like it
But Teddy Roosevelt did not. Although
He thought poorly of languid men he chose
His fights (their fathers were all senators.)
And wrote a preface for a languid poet:
George Cabot Lodge. (But that’s a different story.)
Now back to Trumbull’s only photograph.
A Kodak Brownie caught him unaware
And showed the languid nature of his soul.
He could’ve posed beside a bicycle,
Or hiking over Nova Scotia’s moors,
Or on a tennis court. He passed those by
And sits and smokes until the end of time.