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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Curriculum Vitae

(Anthony Hecht, poet laureate, 1982-1984)


As though it were reluctant to be day,
Morning deploys a scale
Of rarities in gray,
And winter settles down in its chain-mail,

Victorious over legions of gold and red.
The smokey souls of stones,
Blunt pencillings of lead,
Pare down the world to glintless monotones

Of graveyard weather, vapors of a fen
We reckon through our pores.
Save for the garbage men,
Our children are the first ones out of doors.

Book-bagged and padded out, at mouth and nose
They manufacture ghosts,
George Washington’s and and Poe’s,
Banquo’s, the Union and Confederate hosts’,

And are themselves the ghosts, file cabinet gray,
Of some departed us,
Signing our lives away
On ferned and parslied windows of a bus.

~ Anthony Hecht (1923-2004), American poet and essayist

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