Up In Vermont, there is a talented poet and amateur, but thorough, literary scholar named Patrick Gillespie, who calls himself Vermont Poet (He is also a blogger – his blog is listed among my favorites). This moniker would be a might presumptuous for most anyone, especially for those who could not say that they have produced at least some fine poems, or at least one great poem of out-standing quality, beauty and charm. This essay is based on the conviction (as I hope to show) that Patrick has earned his self-proclaimed title.
About a month ago, apropos of nothing, and browsing web-sites I some-times visit, I came upon this post at [poemshape], which is an audio re-cording of Patrick reading his own poem, “Die Erlkønigin,” for public appreciation. [This poem], he said with conviction, was one of the best he has ever written. I listened to the recording and enjoyed it. I read the poem and loved it, and then read the Goethe poem on which it is based - a handy, dual-language link was kindly supplied – and researched the Danish legend (folklore) upon which Goethe had drawn in creating the original, and was fascinated. All the while, the poem was in my head, and in my imagination, and (parts of it, at least) almost on my tongue –and I agreed! It is, certainly, one of the best that he has ever written (Naturally enough but sadly still, I do not feel the same about all the others), as it is also, I believe, one of the best anyone in America has written in many years!