Size / / /

Byron, that pouting beast, he could take or leave.  
Wordsworth? He could only pronounce him worried.  
Too often the last part came out warts. And Keats, well,
who survives Keats? Now Coleridge on the other hand—
and though neither quite matched, he did have another—
Coleridge was chewy. At least as long as the poems
had demons, something likely, in them. Still, Shelley seemed
dead on—he had an eye for it, death, for knowing
what chains meant, and fairies, and fire. And the skylark,
so high, cold and far away—though he'd never seen
one—the skylark he knew he would know when he ate one,
slowly, sucking the soft parts clean from the spine.

Bryan D. Dietrich is the author of six books of poems: The MonstranceThe Assumption, Prime DirectiveLove CraftUniversal Monsters, and Krypton Nights. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Asimov's, Weird Tales, Poetry, Ploughshares, and many other journals. Winner of The Paris Review Prize and a Nation Award, Bryan is Professor of English at Newman University. He can be reached at, and at his website,
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