Upon Finding A Volume of Famous Poetry

by The Cowl Editor on November 16, 2017


Stack of old poetry books
Photo courtesy of theromantic.com

by Jonathan Coppe ’18

Among the dusty shelves I see it nestled

—O wicked, foolish kin to leave it so!—

O, what dreams lie herein? What foreign lands

of sunset-colored love and joyful tears?

So off the shelf it comes and to a desk.

With greedy hands the cover comes undone.

And here I see some reference to a god

to whom the Ancient Greeks would slaughter lambs

immortalized in a now forgotten book.

—This fate does scarce inspire joy and awe…—

But half an hour in I have made out

that little have I grasped, although my eyes

run on and on and on across these lines.

Nor majesty nor beauty fill my heart.

Instead each weighty stanza more abstruse,

and every line the meaning veiled, opaque.

Could it be? This same world I lament

and sigh to see, is no less than the world

of poetry, and this is everything after all?