‘Poetry and Prose’ a poem by Jeffrey Brown

The Friday Poem this week comes from the 2015 collection, ‘The News: Poems’ by PBS Newshour chief correspondent for arts, culture and society, Jeffrey Brown.

In an interview with guest host, Susan Page on the Diane Rehm show, Mr. Brown shared the passion that has existed in parallel with his day job.

“Well, I wrote poetry long ago, you know, in my 20s and I had a brief period of writing quite a bit at that time. And then, I wrote off and on with a lot of offs, you know, for many years at a time over the next 30-some years. There were periods where I would get into it and write poems and periods where I’d just simply stopped. This all came in quite a rush, actually. It was collecting things that had been out there and then putting a lot of them together in a fairly quick period, but, you know, I don’t want to say I wrote it all quickly ’cause a lot of it was written over decades.”

There are times in your career when the most important thing you can do is say no to a job offer. In ‘Poetry and Prose’, Mr. Brown offers us a gracious way to say no.

Poetry and Prose

After much

reflection

I have decided

to respectfully

decline

your offer.

I am grateful

you were willing

to put your

confidence in me.

And there was

a big part

of me ready

and eager

to take on

the challenge.

But I am

unable

to meet your

requirements.

Jeffrey Brown   ‘The News: Poems’ 2015