Anthony Harrington–Featured Poet


Inauguration Day

His left hand upon a Bible,
The other in mid-air,
A President again stands up
And firmly says, “I swear…”

And all across this wide, wide land
You can be sure it’s true
That those who did not vote for him
Are firmly swearing, too.

God and de Man at Yale

“For death, says de Man, is merely ‘a displaced
name for a linguistic predicament.’”
                            —George Steiner, Real Presences

Ah, the singular mind of the deconstructionist!
So keen! So far above the vulgar crowd!
When he died his eulogist quoted Donne:
“Linguistic Predicament, be not proud.”


During my long years of schooling
What did I study most of all?
Minute by minute in every class
The clock on the classroom wall.

On Their Kindles

Will the future students of literature
Learning about their betters
Study volumes whose titles begin
The Life and E-Mail Letters…?

On Optimism

Oh, obstinate is all human hope
Upon this dismal earth.
Even the undertaker’s wife
Keeps on giving birth.

The Poets

Each one has a bonnet.
Inside’s a little bee
Buzzing a single word:
Me, me, me.

The Thickets of the Law

Have you ever noticed how
In the middle of the word distress
There lurk three awful letters:
I and R and S?

On the Internet

Twenty minutes
With the poetry bloggers
And I am ready
For a dozen lagers.

Workshop Poem

“Do not write any poems about your grandchildren,
your pet cat, or the natural beauty of the New England woods.”
                   –Joseph S. Salemi in a talk, “Why Poetry is Dying”

In a Vermont pond’s cold, clear water
With golden birches bending around,
Two sadistic children of my daughter
Held my cat Jeoffry under till he drowned.

Some Bentleys, No Rolls

Alexander Graham Bell
Deserves a place in nethermost Hell
For giving telemarketers the power
To call at one’s dinner hour.

John Donne
Was never much fun.
In fact, the phrase metaphysically grim
Pretty much captures him.

Mary Baker Eddy
Had a faith that was steady.
So certain was she of being healed
She let lapse her Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

William McKinley
Is treated by History rather thinly.
He is generally rated
Only for having been assassinated.

Zelda Fitzgerald (née Sayre)
Was Southern and devil-may-care.
Down deep, her Midwestern husband, Scott,
Was not.


Dante had his Beatrice.
Yeats his tall Maud Gonne.
Keats had his Fanny Brawne.
Me? Not a goddamned one.

Embedded Correspondent

Miss Dickinson ignored The Civil War,
Quietly scratching with her steel-nib pen.
Upstairs behind her bedroom door,
Miss Dickinson ignored The Civil War.
Lucky to have lived in the world before
The clamorous violence of CNN,
Miss Dickinson ignored The Civil War,
Quietly scratching with her steel-nib pen.

Going, Going…Gone

The real World of Art?
Let me clue you in:
When the painter dies,
The auctioneers grin.


Born and raised in the Philadelphia area many decades ago, Anthony Harrington was educated in a local seminary where he was exposed to the Classics, Philosophy, and Theology, strains of which keep showing up in his verse. Semi-retired from an undistinguished career in sales, he lives with his wife, Natalie, in Alpharetta, Georgia. His dog Oliver also lives there, but Harrington chooses not to mention him because he can’t read. For more of his work, visit