About the Poems
by Michael Schiavo
The five paragraphs presented here constitute one chapter (out of 13) of a long poem, The Mad Song, a fantasia on the anonymous ballad-poem variously known as "Loving Mad Tom" or "Tom O'Bedlam's Song." The unnamed narrator is extolling a lost love that is both woman and country — the country in this case being Georgian America of the 21st-century instead of Elizabethan England of the 16th. As in the source poem, the object of affection may or may not exist, or have ever existed. But that's no reason to stop searching.