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If The Royals Were Poets

If the Royals were poets, who would they be?

Jason Kendall: Consistent, persistent, sheer quantity (and obsession with quantity) obscuring a brilliant beginning. A unique individual, an uncommon model. Career noted for a significant wound, for one, the tragedy of France, for the other, an ankle in Pittsburgh. Considered, too much so at times, a mentor of sorts, an inspiration for others. In the end, overpaid. William Wordsworth. Honorable mention: Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Scott Podsednik: Easily accessible. A one trick pony (harsh) or someone who did one thing well (nicer). Seems in a hurry. Overrated. Sylvia Plath. You could also talk me into, at the player's peak: Allen Ginsberg.

Billy Butler: An easy fellow to love. A man who invites warm sentiments and feelings of familiar pleasures. Never the best, but far from the worst. Not one to challenge us, yet also one who never disappoints. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Or, to be slightly more pessimistic: Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Zack Greinke: Has received, for better or worse, considerable attention for their anxieties. An individual voice and a singular talent. Certainly, if we may say so, in a basic way, strange. Possessors of an ability to make us see everyday things in a new way. Emily Dickinson.

Kyle Davies: A son of the South. Not terribly good. Sidney Lanier. If he gets better: James Dickey.

Jose Guillen: "Temperamental" is the label fellows of this sort usually get, if we're being polite. Prone to the rant. One who lives in their own mental universe. Didn't age well. Ezra Pound. If you prefer, or demand, a less noxious crazy, perhaps William Blake.


Brian Bannister: Modern. Up to date. A primary source who works as if he's aware of the secondary sources to be written. Smart, but not better than passable. Allan Tate. Also works: John Wain or basically any poet from the 1960s on.

David DeJesus: Over-shadowed by more brilliant peers, almost unfairly so. One who would do a variety of styles well, none greatly. Consistent. Had odd way of generating critics. Deserving of greater acclaim. James Russell Lowell. If you wanted to stress the boring aspect: George Crabbe.

Joakim Soria: A talent found unexpectedly (or so the story goes). Romantically celebrated as a man from outside the metropole, a less developed place. Perhaps, in this way, pigeon-holed into a strict role, but also loved the more so for it. Robert Burns. Would also accept: John Greenleaf Whittier.

Willie Bloomquist: Attempted nearly every style, every meter. Was for a time, curiously renowned. It's too much to criticize them now, fight another battle if you really care. Not good enough even to be worth it. Will be forgotten anyway. James Gates Percival.

Rick Ankiel: He was once a man of the future. Somewhere it went wrong. There was a comeback and a new position, and some acclaim. A hard nut to crack. In the end, unreadable. Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Yuniesky Betancourt: A litmus test. If someone tells you "oh, he's quite good" you know in an instant that you're listening to a fool. It doesn't even make sense... Or, perhaps they just really wants to establish how old-fashioned they are, how much they can see what you can't. John Dryden. Or, stressing more of the former and less of the latter, Gertrude Stein.

Brayan Pena: What is this here? Who was the mind behind these short verses? There is, or was, or might have been, something here. Perhaps. We'll never know. The Anonymous Author of Every Random Poem Someone Finds In The Archives.

Mike Aviles: Really, not much of a body of work, when you get down to it. However, what there is, might be considered to be just short of that upper level. Enough to make you wonder. Just don't over do it. Hart Crane.

Kyle Farnsworth: Memorable and in the end famous. A long career of short work. Not one to be used, with much success, in serious situations. Ogden Nash.

Alex Gordon: It always seems unique, but it is sadly typical. A bright beginning (or what was thought to be a beginning) and an early end. Was it his fault or just bad luck? Many end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Planted, we might say, in infertile soil. For now, we must go with a real man of obscurity, though known in his day: Joseph Brown Ladd.

Dayton Moore: Devoted and faithful. A believer in old fashioned models. A protege of the elite who was put on display as a talent to be celebrated. Notably, and for some, annoyingly, religious. Ended, unfortunately, in obscurity (for one, of course, this is yet to come). Phillis Wheatley. Also works: Jones Very.