I’ve been wandering through a library book, The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse in America, and came across this little poem by Richard Wilbur (1921-2017):
What is the opposite of riot?
It’s lots of people keeping quiet.
The opposite of doughnut? Wait
A minute while I meditate.
This isn’t easy. Ah, I’ve found it!
A cookie with a hole around it.
What is the opposite of two?
A lonely me, a lonely you.
The opposite of a cloud could be
A white reflection in the sea,
Or, a huge blueness in the air,
Caused by a cloud’s not being there.
The opposite of opposite?
That’s much too difficult. I quit.
Wikipedia says this about the author:
Richard Purdy Wilbur was an American poet and literary translator. One of the foremost poets of his generation, Wilbur’s work, composed primarily in traditional forms, was marked by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance.
With very little effort I found some of Wilbur’s poetry on-line. I like this one:
I read how Quixote in his random ride
Came to a crossing once, and lest he lose
The purity of chance, would not decide
Whither to fare, but wished his horse to choose.
For glory lay wherever turned the fable.
His head was light with pride, his horse’s shoes
Were heavy, and he headed for the stable.
of Wilbur reading “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.”