Steroidal Poetics

A new scandal is brewing: poets on steroids. “This problem may extend to the very top of the industry,” speculates Arthur Krembloy, investigator for the Poetry Society of America.

“Billy Collins could not have written the lines

They say you can jinx a poem
if you talk about it before it is done.
If you let it out too early, they warn,
your poem will fly away

(from ‘Madmen’) unaided,” Mr. Krembloy asserted.

“Jorie Graham’s latest book, Overlord, shows a super-confident enjambment that’s a particular sign of steroids,” observes forensic literary critic Gerald Hendley Holmes.

The Poetry Society of America is instituting a series of high-profile hearings in February. Already, W.S. Merwin has refused to testify under oath on whether he’s used poetry-enhancing drugs. “I hope these hearings can prevent other poetry readers from suffering,” says Galway Kinnell.

“This is a nationwide problem,” poetics coach Andy Sewall opines. “You’ve got kids in high school and college seeing these poet gurus, and taking sonnet-enhancing substances. The federal government has got to get involved, and get tough on these versifiers once and for all!”

Mandatory drug testing for poets has never been instituted.