Howard Nemerov, “History of a Literary Movement”
After Margrave died, nothing Seemed worth while. I said as much To Grumbach, who replied: “The oscillations of fashion do not amuse me. There have been Great men before, there will be Other great men. Only man Is important, man is ultimate.” I can still see him sitting there, Sipping level by level his Pousse-cafe. He was a fat man. Fat men are seldom the best Creative writers.
The rest of us Slowly dispersed, hardly Ever saw each other again, And did not corespond, for There was little enough to say. Only Impli and I Hung on, feeling as we did That the last word had not
Finally been said. Sometimes I feel, I might say, cheated. Life here at Bad Grandstein Is dull, is dull, what with The eternal rocks and the river; And Impli, though one of my Dearest friends, can never, I have decided, become great.
(Nemerov himself having subsequently “achieved” solid, Norton Anthology-level respectability, it’s nice to know he was hitting skin-bracing, sardonic marks like this one at a young, fresh 27.)