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This poem is taken from PN Review 126, Volume 25 Number 4, March - April 1999.

Blenheim Revisited Stephen Burt

for Adam Schwartzman


...I addressed a butterfly on a pea-blossom thus: 'Beautiful Psyche, soul of a blossom, that art visiting and hovering over thy former friends whom thou hast left!' Had I forgot the caterpillar? Or did I dream like a mad metaphysician that the caterpillar's hunger for plants was self-love, recollection, and a lust that in its next state resolved itself into love?

Coleridge, Anima Poetae



Glassed-in, grid-shadowed, camouflaged, held tight
In rudiments of twigs, or almost lost
Like riggings in the roof's slant-salted light -
Evasive, age-and weightless as Descartes'
First axiom, a fleet of x and y's,
Heraldic absolutes, the butterflies
Were their own net.

                                         So many being there,
It cheapened them, as if to lose a few
Were just to lose examples of a type
Which could survive no matter what we did.
...


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