Reading Myself

Like thousands, I took just pride and more than just,

struck matches that brought my blood to a boil;

I memorized the tricks to set the river on fire-

somehow never wrote something to go back to.

Can I suppose I am finished with wax flowers

and have earned my grass on the minor slopes of Parnassus….

No honeycomb is built without a bee adding circle to circle, cell to cell,

the wax and honey of a mausoleum

this round dome proves its maker is alive;

the corpse of the insect lives embalmed in honey,

prays that its perishable work live long enough

for the sweet-tooth bear to desecrate

this open book . . . my open coffin.

Robert Lowell

Lowell, R., Bidart, F., & Gewanter, (2003). Collected poems (1st ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, p.