The Musings of T.C. Worthe is a compendium of poetic epigrams written by C.N. Cantelon. The author reveals on the book’s back cover that he first distributed these “short poems and comments on the Trail Room bulletin board at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon in the late ‘60s” under the pseudonym T.C. Worthe—a name meant to evoke “Two Cents’ Worth.”
There are several thoughtful moments in Cantelon’s musings. For instance, when he writes, “Knowing I’m not perfect/allows me to forgive/the imperfections in others” and “It is not wrong to disagree—/Only to be disagreeable./ It is not wrong to be right—/Only to demand agreement,” he suggests that the speaker has inclinations toward moral philosophy, which might be further developed in essay form.
The majority of poems in the collection, however, default to a more familiar, greeting-card-style verse, such as, “Once in a while, I stop and smile/ At a memory of you./ We had good times/ And shared some rhymes./ I’m blessed to have loved you” and “Rain will fall/ And wind will blow./ In winter or fall,/ Sometimes it may snow./ But there will, occasionally, be times/ When the clouds disperse/ And the sun shines.”
Although Cantelon states that all the collected epigrams are from the late 1960s, one notable anachronism undercuts that premise: “Social media fills a need/ Wherein some may choose to find greed,/ But others choose to use this forum /To share the world with grace and decorum.”
As an artifact of a particular generation and zeitgeist, this collection would likely appeal to some American social historians. The story behind the epigrams might also yield some interesting literary prose. But in its current form, the collection doesn’t have the freshness needed to be fully embraced by contemporary poets and poetry readers.
Also available as an ebook.