Parallel Play by Stephen Burt

The following is a poem from Parallel Play by Stephen Burt, to be published by Graywolf Press in February.


After Callimachus

Cover me quickly, stone.
I wrote verse. I meant little in life,
blamed few and injured none;
I tried to get along.
My writings kept me warm.
If I with my featherlight pen
confused prestige with worth,
praised evil, or ever wronged
the few who wanted a fight,
allow me, generous earth,
to do no further harm–
let me atone in my sleep;
I with my good will,
so lightly and often given,
who rest with nothing to keep,
and nothing to offer heaven.


—“After Callimachus” copyright 2006 by Stephen Burt. Reprinted from Parallel Play with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.