Michael Cuanach: Two Poems
Teufelsdrockh | The Exercise of Self-Control in the Prevention of Insanity
(After Thomas Carlyle)
He was a stranger there, wafted by circumstance,
called by a quaint turn, Professor of Things in General.
His domestic habits (No history seems discoverable.)
were where they should be, in the vanguard of his soul.
Not infrequently professors such as he have been blamed for an unprofitable
as if they were goose hunting into regions of bilberries and crowberries.
Many a scene, no less than a person, that looks desert and rockbound from a
will unfold itself, when visited, into rare valleys.
The Exercise of Self-Control in the Prevention of Insanity
(according to Henry Maudsley, M.D., 1884)
Character is a slow and gradual domain of nature,
And most persons who have suffered from maladies of thought
Must without doubt be themselves responsible for going mad.
From time to time we may see two persons
Who have the same faulty heritage
Go very different ways in life.
Curious and interesting it is to observe
Their divergent religious opinions and imagined intercourse
As general illustrations of what I mean,
Though impossible to enumerate here.
Sad, foolish, or dangerous extravagances
May seem, in such instances, vicarious relief,
Yet persons of this category need not go mad
If they only knew the resources of their own feet.
Michael Cuanach began writing poetry six years ago after a break of
thirty years. He lives in New York City where, after a most enjoyable career
as a high school English teacher, he is semi-retired, teaching writing at
LaGuardia Community College. He has published two translations from Anna
Akhmatova in Womens Literature (Prentice Hall, 2000), as well as original
poems in Grasslands Review, Bitter Oleander Review, The Ledge, and