A Poem as a Fan

No sooner seated, she folds my handout and fans
Herself. Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen,
As she soon finds out, upon unfolding, have been
Cooling her. Brooke’s Soldier could, but Owen’s Anthem?

She’s fanned them, nonetheless, but can they fan
Her in return? Not just for the moment or for
The fever of my course, can English fans be
The cool conquerors of the March heat in Singapore?

Can? Or should? Can or should poetry do this?
What passing poems for those who feel the heat?
Poetry that makes nothing happen has sort of
Sprinkled you, Elaine, and made this poem.

by Robert Yeo
from The Best of Robert Yeo (2012)