i.m. Anthony Hecht
Why should it shock me that his younger self
spouts wordplay like a great baroque jet d’eau,
German abbreviations, French bons mots,
lettered allusions up and down the shelf
of the Bard’s dramas? And the KJV?
Even in wartime, juggling bric-a-brac!
A bright disguise, put on for family?
A carapace his later poems would crack?
False questions. My small shudder at the heart
drums from the memory of those pinched and bland
and few scribbles I sent from school back then
to parents shy of words and starved of art.
All parties artless, failing to understand
……………………….Fifty years, and I wince again.