That premier of journalists, Defoe, when misfortune cased his sturdy limbs with the tiobers of the pillory, invoked his muse and made some cash thereby. And Francois Villon was a poet though a picaroon. So Gerald Chapman, writing heroically unheroic couplets in his cloistered corner of Connecticut, has precedent preponderous--even more precedent than the verse demands.

For, despite the vagaries of varied mood mottled memoirs of the arts, poetry, after all, is poetry. And Gerald, though an excellent gunman and a fairly creditable crook, has yet to write poetry. Indeed his muse is not sufficiently--to use his own words--distillate. In fact one might even believe murder detrimental to that divine something which breeds noble rime. But then again there is Francois Villon. Modernity lacks savoir faire even the rogues are prosaic.