The Poems of Robert Deluty, UMBC Psychology

We are honored to present some of Robert Deluty’s many insightful and joyful poems. His latest book of poetry, Human Recordings, is his forty-sixth, and somehow he gets the needed work done as a dean and faculty member. Perhaps his favorite form of poetry is the Senryū, of Japanese origin, with its three short lines. Deluty has used the form to focus on life’s funny, poignant, and/or absurd moments. “Abnormal Psychology”(below) is from Human Recordings.


Robert Deluty


Abnormal Psychology

The college sophomore
Who never asked a question nor
Participated in a discussion, and
Who received a grade of C or D
On each of her five examinations,
Class presentation, and term project,
Approaches her professor as grades
Are about to be turned in and
Pleads for a B, noting that she
Attended all but four lectures,
Came late only three times,
Was always courteous, and
Did most of the readings


In the midst
of a loud, petty,
bitterly contentious
faculty meeting,
the elderly professor
gets a cell phone call
from his three-year-old
granddaughter imploring
Sing, Pop-Pop, Sing!

Four Senryū

two Nobelists
discussing their favorite
Jerry Lewis films

handing in her test
while telling the professor
Please don’t judge me

on his CV
stating he’s a member of
Phi Betta Kapa

an old prof reading
the review, You’re not awful
like everyone says

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