Reading through R. H. Grenville’s The Fountain in the Square this morning, I was struck by the quality of some of this little-known author’s poems.  While the text is published in 1963, the poems were first published in periodicals years earlier.  And even though published in book form, they are no longer available, as the text is out of print.  This is true of a number of the poets that we are learning about, so I thought that I would commence a tradition. Every few days, I will post a poem by one of our obscure authors: something not readily available to the reading public, and not bound by copyright.

Here is the first contribution:

Tabloid, by R. H. Grenville

Here they all are,
Dramatis personæ of the human scene:
The tired girl who wed the millionaire,
The movie star, the killer, and the queen.
Here are the victims of a mine explosion,
The piteous living and the pitiful dead,
Just as the camera caught them; and here the ruins
Of flooded towns show how the waters spread.
Here are the parents of the boy whose playmate
Shot him while playing with a loaded gun.
Why do the eyes that stare from the page accuse you?
It’s not your tragedy, your town, your son!
The play intrigues, but it cannot include you.
While the loose lions of disaster rage,
You are the safe spectator, idly making
A Coliseum of the printed page.

Fountain in the Square (Birmingham, AL: Banner, 1963) 34.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est le meme chose…”