Burning the Book

Burning the Book
by Ron Koertge
The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes
apart when I read it.
One at a time, I throw pages on the fire
and watch smoke make its way up
and out.
I’m almost to the index when I hear
a murmuring in the street. My neighbors
are watching it snow.
I put on my blue jacket and join them.
The children stand with their mouths
I can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—
land on every tongue, then disappear.

0 thoughts on “Burning the Book

  1. A fine conceit–burning a cheap, “brittle” love poem anthology–given a surprise twist at the end, which adds even more to the metaphor. Way to go!

  2. Poetry is on the tip of your tongue, burning… We don’t need to hold on to the cheap sentimentality of a collection of your words in poems, but I hope to read a collection of yours someday.

  3. Umm. Straightforward and digestible. Love is indeed like the cheaply bought love anthology–brittle, fleeting. I thought that metaphor was conveyed brilliantly. Then the poet, like so many of us, moves on to other appreciations of beauty, with the reminder of love’s allure still reverberating through his mind and realizing that everyone goes thru this (” can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—land on every tongue, then disappear.”) as perhaps a right of passage or stepping stone into the real yet cold world (snow/winter). Thx for sharing!

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