For Hunter Stagg – Smire

This acrostic poem is an example of Cabell’s playful wit. Smire: An Acceptance in the Third Person (1937) was dedicated to literary reviewer and co-founder of The Reviewer literary magazine, Hunter Stagg. Other examples of Cabell’s acrostic poems are gathered by the author in This Is My Best (1942) by Whit Burnett.


Hereinafter we dismiss
Usage for some little time,
Noting that in dreamland this
Takes the randomness of rhyme.

Every law which dreamland knows
Riots and leads all askance,
So that saneliest one goes
Toward dreamland’s fond romance
As the fallen, unforlorn
God of Branlon goes, — with chance
Guiding through the gates of horn.