With yet another new research fragment drawing us toward the conclusion that sitting is a hazard, I urged Trail Baboon Poet Laureate Schuyler Tyler Wyler to take up his pen to write an anti-sitting poem.
STW wrote back immediately to say that he was “offended.” As a Serious Poet, he does not produce doggerel on newsy topics for the purpose of entertainment. He argued that he finds nothing inspirational in sports medicine research, and besides, if the latest data is correct my request that he write a poem is essentially a demand that he shorten his life, since creating poetry is one of the sitting professions.
I told him to try writing standing up, but he answered with a firm declaration that such a thing is simply impossible. “It takes intense concentration and focus to create a work of genius.” He said “Having to remember to keep my balance will dull the edge of inspiration.”
STW noted that great poets, like Billy Collins and Charles Wright, have already written on the topic, and their work is unabashedly pro-sitting. How could he contradict people he respects and maintain his integrity?
I answered with an assurance that the audience for this blog is very close to zero, so his reputation will not suffer. And “a work of genius” is never required for a mere blog post. I suggested that if he felt stuck, he could give himself a head start by stealing the work of someone else, like the wooden-legged Welsh poet W.H. Davies.
Then I offered him $50 to drop the complaints and get me something within the hour. He thanked me and got to work.
A person can stay trim and fit,
As long as they can’t stand to sit.
So learn a lesson from the cows.
Take to your field in stately rows
to watch the world before you pass.
and never plop down on your grass.
Your buns will become firm and tight.
Your frame will thin, your face will light
With other benefits. Perchance –
much longer-lasting seats of pants.
And if you’re standing like a crop,
when death arrives, there’s room to drop.
But have them stand you up again,
for vertical internment‘s in.
Upon your narrow tombstone fit
these words: “He couldn’t stand to sit.”
What’s your favorite type of chair?