S E P T E M B E R 1 9 9 5
BONE KEYby Richard Wilbur
Hear Richard Wilbur read this poem (in RealAudio):
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"He used to call his body Brother Ass. . . . "
--Saint Bonaventure, Life of Saint Francis
You would think that here, at least,
In dens by night, on tawny sands by day,
Poor Brother Ass would be a kingly beast.
So does the casuarina seem to say,
Whose kindred haziness
And Angel's Trumpets, which
It's hardihood that thrives,
Or the white mangrove, nursed
COMPULSIONSThe Reader's tyrannous desires compel
The weary, bored Pornographer to tell
Again, and then once more, and then anew,
The shameful things that lustful monsters do
To a blameless victim--chained, or drugged, or tied--
With whom the Reader feels identified.
Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.