Poetry and artwork - Henry Denander

The poetry of Tax Declarations

On my way home from the office today, traveling 
on bus number 66, I scribbled down a poem on the 
back of a tax declaration form. 

I have been doing tax declarations for my clients 
for two months now. Soon I will have prepared over 
a hundred of them.

A friend told me he knew of some famous poets who 
had ordinary jobs but wrote poetry at their spare time.

William Carlos Williams was a doctor and wrote 
poems on the back of prescriptions between patients.

Wallace Stephens worked for an insurance company and 
ended up as a vice president.

TS Eliot was a teacher and a bank clerk before he started 
to work for a publisher.

On the back of the tax declaration form I wrote a poem 
about a client and a negotiation I had just finalized and 
about how upset I had been with the other party for trying 
to fool me and my client. 

I know that Elliot and Stevens never wrote about their day 
jobs but William Carlos Williams wrote poems and stories 
about his patients and cases.

And he could call himself a doctor and a poet 
at the same time.

Is it possible to be a bean counter 
and a poet
at the same time?

Probably depends on the poetry,
not on the job.



Published in I Know What She Will Say, 2003