by David W. Landrum

Why bastard? wherefore base?

----King Lear

Why must I suffer for my father’s sin?
I am demeaned, as if I did the deed
myself, fathered myself and ushered in
my own existence through my misspent seed.
They call me bastard, base—what logic saw
the hapless offspring of a furtive act
as guilty of the crime? It seems such law
is injudicious and after the fact.
Despite what custom says, I am derived
as well as anyone legitimate.
And yet by custom I must be deprived
of titles while my brother is set up
the Duke of Gloucester . Come you gods—command
your powers and, this day, for bastards stand.

© 2007 by David W. Landrum






About the Author

David W. Landrum is Professor of Humanities at Cornerstone University in Western Michigan . His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Formalist, The New Formalist, The Barefoot Muse, Web Del Sol, and many others. His articles and fiction have appeared in Twentieth-Century Literature, Philological Quarterly, Amarillo Bay, Loch Raven Review. His chapbook, Identities, is available at: http://www.formalpoetry.com/ ebooks/landrum.html.

He is also the editor of a new online journal, Lucid Rhythms.


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