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.
Maryann Corbett is the author of five books of poems, most recently In Code from Able Muse Press. Her work has appeared in journals like 32 Poems, Ecotone, Literary Imagination, and Rattle and in anthologies like Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and Best American Poetry 2018. She is a past winner of the Richard Wilbur Award and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. A sixth book, The O in the Air, is forthcoming from Colosseum Books.
Also by Maryann Corbett (see all)
- Unended Journeys: Alfred Corn’s The Returns: Collected Poems - September 21, 2022
- The Monsters and the Translators: Grappling with Beowulf in the Third Millenium - February 19, 2022
- The Lowly and the Long Friends: Hailey Leithauser’s Saint Worm - October 25, 2020