Check out this great poem about sidekicks and heroes. Straightforward, spare language, wit, and a beautiful poetic (but not over-written, sentimental) payoff! I love it… what do you think?
by Ron Koertge
They were never handsome and often came
with a hormone imbalance manifested by corpulence,
a yodel of a voice or ears big as kidneys.
But each was brave. More than once a sidekick
has thrown himself in front of our hero in order
to receive the bullet or blow meant for that
perfect face and body.
Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave
the sidekick alone. He would not stand for it.
Gabby or Pat, Pancho or Andy remind us of a part
the dependent part that can never grow up,
the part that is painfully eager to please,
always wants a hug and never gets enough.
Who could sit in a darkened theatre, listen
to the organ music and watch the best
of ourselves lowered into the ground while
the rest stood up there, tears pouring off
that enormous nose.
“Sidekicks” by Ron Koertge, from Life on the Edge of the Continent. © University of Arkansas Press, 1982.
Inspired: Write a poem that starts with a line you really like from this poem. Write your own poem — but choose a line that really inspires you.
For example: I would choose: “that enormous nose:”
That enormous nose:
To love the ugly is sin.
our culture, broken.
Now, you try it! Post your experiments.