The Bartleby – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Sanaa is hosting Poetics and has invited to use a minimalist photo (choice of 12) by Glenn Buttkus of South Sound Minimalist Photos.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Exploring the Realm of Minimalist Photography

Photo courtesy of Glenn Buttkus (link above)

“Life moves on and so should we.” Spencer Johnson

The Bartleby

We named it the Bartleby because,
on most days, on most journeys it
preferred not to go anywhere at all,
to the point of disappointment so
irrupting that we persisted and 
pushed it to a limit of ourselves,
and the going was tougher than 
expected, until finally, a moment 
came when the wheels fell off our
manic endeavour, and there and 
then we left the Bartleby, much
preferring not to.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

Note: some of you may not be aware of the reference to Bartleby = 'Bartleby The Scrivener' by Herman Melville


Filed under Free Verse, Humour, life, philosophy, poem, quote

33 responses to “The Bartleby – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Wow! Love it, Paul! Thank you for sharing, and adding the description for Bartleby. Have a beautiful week! Michael xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sanaarizvi

    This is absolutely stellar writing, Paul 😀 I love the fact that you named it, personalized to an extent that I can visualize how “a moment came when the wheels fell off our manic endeavour,”.. simple and yet so meaningful.. it reminds me that no matter what happens we shouldn’t give up, regardless of the consequences.. like the truck here .. Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt 💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this … going to keep a smile on my face, in my heart all day!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The description for Bartleby actually helped!
    Beautifully expressed!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Amy

    Very moving… Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As I read this intriguing poem, Paul, I saw in my mind’s eye delighted teenagers intent on restoring the antique car they had found… trying to push it through the sand, and finally giving up pushing. Still, they had an interesting adventure to remember. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Glenn A. Buttkus

    How wonderful for you to come up; with Bartleby, who was a staunch individual who stuck to his principles despite peer pressure and hardship, resulting in his demise. A lovely back story and metaphor’; thanks .

    Liked by 3 people

  8. good one Paul, fits the pic so aptly, a great metaphor for life! And the personalisation makes it even more intense …

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My overriding memory of a road trip through Namibia was the number of abandoned ‘Bartlebys’ we passed. in the most remote of places; made my wonder what had happened to their former occupants…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love how you’ve given this rusted old truck both a name and a backstory!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Bartleby the Scrivener” is one of my favorite short stories. I love how your poem plays off it with the prompt photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charis Counselling

    I love the twist great poem


    Liked by 1 person

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