If Richard Wilbur Were Alive and a Much Less Talented Poet, He Might Write Something Like This about This Latest Quarantine
Master Will didn’t waste his time,
When the authorities shut down the Globe.
Stuck at home, he wrote King Lear.
Deep into the dark he dove.
Sixty years later, when the plague returned,
Sir Isaac, too, avoided idleness.
Sitting beneath an apple tree,
He invented calculus.
No obsessive tweeting for those two,
No staring all day at computer screens.
They found much better things to do
Than reposting the latest kitty memes.
Emily Dickinson, Queen of the Quarantine
“Soul selects her own Society.”
When it comes to social distancing,
Emily is the prototype.
On her solitude insisting,
Forsaking FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.
Allow me to wax anachronistic –
She out-garbos Garbo –
Transliterating Nature’s hieroglyphics,
Her isolation self-imposed.
Warren Zevon’s on auto-replay,
“Splendid Isolation,” she don’t need no one,
Like Georgia O’Keefe, all alone in the desert,
But basking in moonlight instead of the sun.