Poetry December 2004

Loyal Carp

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I myself a bottom feeder, I knew what
a chanson à la carp was—I a lover
of carp music—for I heard carp singing
behind the glass on the Delaware River,
keeping the shad themselves company
and always it was a basso, in that range there
was space for a song compleat, it was profundo
enough and just to stop and drink in that
melody and just to hum behind those
whiskers, that was muck enough for one life.

Gerald Stern's latest collection of poems is American Sonnets. He received a National Book Award for This Time: New and Selected Poems.
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