The Funny Thing about the Writer

It’s a funny thing about the writer—
Who knew how to put his finger
On something we could not—
To see a thing we had not yet seen—
To fill in the blanks
About which we had only wondered so far—

He who makes thinking easier for us—
Even with his suspicion, whether generous or begrudging,
That it might be a deal-breaker for us if he did not—
Who asks what we dare not,
Searches where we would never,
And concludes what we could scarcely conclude—
We being without the benefit of
The courage he gains from such practice—

He whose examining makes life worth living,
At least for him,
(Though we ourselves may argue with Socrates
On this particular matter)—
Who scratches the itch we cannot reach—
Who answers questions
Not yet occurring to us—
Who even manages
On rare occasion
To make us curious
When we could not—
Who lifts the boredom
When we are under its sluggish spell
And couldn’t even lift a finger ourselves
To that end—

Who writes when we sleep—
And if he is not writing,
Is probably thinking about it—
Who leads where we would not
Go without him,
And from where,
I might add,
We might well return later
In sour protest against him—
Even if we would not dare
Say as much to his face—

Who carries our banner
And fights our battles—
And may well be our champion
In ways we’ll never mention—
And I don’t know why
He’s not running for President!
And how does he think of these things?

Funny, but even though he can do all this—
Even though he has this much going for him—
He can neither read the mind of the reader,
Nor pay his own salary,
Nor give himself a satisfying pat on the back.

19890cookie-checkThe Funny Thing about the Writer

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