is on love with early death,
celebrates its Byrons, its Dylans, 
its Sylvias, who died young
and beautiful, who were too good 
for this world, who could not
write themselves out of despair. 

The Myth Of The Poet insists
the deepest souls are the most fragile,
spend their light in a rush of passion,
then burn out. The Myth Of The Poet
has no place for elders. 

Then what about
Stanley Kunitz who lived to 100
and never stoped writing?
Robert Frost
Richard Wilbur
Maxine Kumin
Linda Pastan
Mary Oliver
who wrote to the end
still full of light and passion.

Are their lives less valuable
for being long?