(written 1/94; Webbed 3/98)

You want a lover who can write a sonnet,

Compose a symphony, repair a car,

Chop down a tree, design and sew a bonnet,

And calculate the distance to a star.

You want someone hard-headed, yet romantic;

A lover who can burn but never scar.

(Mixed metaphors. I’m batting over par.

My poetry seems flawed when I’m pedantic.)

Then, too, you want someone with whom to spar....

I’ve called myself a practical idealist;

My self-descriptions contradict and jar:

A serious, laughing, visionary realist.

Though I may not be everything you want,

I might be worth a try. (Is that too blunt?)


I wrote this in a letter to a then-potential (now ex-) sweetie. Being a generalist can involve certain apparent contradictions... In poetry (unlike in logic), a paradox is a seeming contradiction which is actually consistent.