From the Rock Island Argus, September 16, 1912. By Duncan M. Smith. Writing pieces for the paper, Mostly foolishness and vapor; Sometimes reason may slip in, Nor is that a deadly sin, But it is a sad mistake That a writer should not make, Lest the reader go to sleep Or declare it is too deep And the paper fling aside, Going forth to take a ride. Writing for the public print, Gossip, story, beauty hint— Anything to fill the space That a streak of blues will chase; Anything that’s light and not Clogged with too involved a plot; Anything that’s not designed To make labor for the mind Or to air high sounding views, Lest the reader take a snooze. Writing for the public mart, For the eye and for the heart, Something simple, straight and plain That will rest the reader’s brain And will put him in the mood For the predigested food That adorns the printed page In this restless, rushing age; That will feed him something light Ere he goes to sleep at night. For we do not read to learn— We have knowledge, yes, to burn— But we read to be amused And to hear our foes abused. There is work enough, indeed, Where we toil at breakneck speed. So when we sit down at night With a paper and a light Nothing we are after then That will make us work again.
The Daily Grind