(trans. by Miller Williams) Today's poem - or, rather, antipoem - is surely the final word on the 'prescriptive poetry' front. I don't think I need say very much about it, except that the last line is a beautifully and slyly unexpected conclusion, with which I agree wholeheartedly. A quick note on form - I've gone into the difference between free verse and unstrutured verse before (see, for example the comments at poem #54), but the antipoem is by its very nature unstructured - the form here is a deliberate formlessness that, while not my favourite poetic style, can be refreshingly original if done well.  The biography describes the concept nicely, so I won't repeat it here. Biographical Note: Parra, Nicanor b. Sept. 5, 1914, San Fabian, Chile one of the most important Latin-American poets of his time, the originator of so-called antipoetry (poetry that opposes traditional poetic techniques or styles). Parra studied mathematics and physics at the University of Chile in Santiago, at Brown University, Providence, R.I., U.S. (1943-45), and at the University of Oxford. From 1952 he taught theoretical physics at the University of Chile. Although Parra later renounced his first book of poetry, Cancionero sin nombre (1937; "Songbook Without a Name"), his use of colloquial, often irreverent language, the light treatment of classical forms, and his humorous tone in that volume presage his later antipoetry. With Poemas y antipoemas (1954; Poems and Antipoems), Parra's attempts at making poetry more accessible to the masses gained him national and international fame. These verses treat common, everyday problems of a grotesque and often absurd world in clear, direct language and with black humour and ironic vision. After experimenting with the local speech and humour of the Chilean lower classes in La cueca larga (1958; "The Long Cueca [Dance]"), Parra published Versos de salón (1962; "Verses of the Salon"), which continued the antipoetic techniques of his earlier works. Obra gruesa (1969; "Big Work") is a collection of Parra's poems, excluding his first book. Its tone of dissatisfaction is intensified by the use of prosaic language, cliché, and ironic wordplay. In 1967 Parra began to write experimental short poems that he later published as a collection of postcards entitled Artefactos (1972; "Artifacts"). In these he attempted to reduce language to its simplest form without destroying its social and philosophical impact. Later collections include Sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui (1977; Sermons and Homilies of the Christ of Elqui) and Hojas de Parra (1985; "Leaves [Pages] of Parra"). -- EB And finally, a bonus poem that delivers a rather trenchant comment on antipoetry: Antipoetry Like Nicanor Parra I write antipoetry antipoems for antipeople in antibooks antipoems for anticritics for antireaders antipoetry for antiassholes in the antimatter antielectrons in the antiatoms for antideaf in my antiadaptation to the literary world in the antigroup of the antiliterature antipoetry for antieditors for antiprizes for antilectors for anticorrectors for antipublishers and it is not because I don't like poetry or because I don't like critics, it is because, like any other antipoet I only know how to write antipoetry. -- Moshe Benarroch m.