Thursday, 9 July 2020

Maryann Corbett

Rereading the Aeneid, Book IV

Sting of a memory, roused from its coils in the roots of the Latin:
     raising my voice to my teacher, right there in the hallway. I lost it—
     my grip on the weave of the grammar, the veiled indirectness of footnotes.
     Red-faced, incensed at her hint that not all of the weeping was Dido's.
     Calling Aeneas a jerk and a rat, almost shouting that duty,
     piety, vows to the gods were all lies.
                                                                      And her face. And her eyebrows
     (bristly and white and just visible under the edge of a wimple)
     knitting. Then both of us suddenly silent. The bell. And then moving
     stone-faced toward chemistry class, while across on the opposite stairwell,
     slouching, a certain young perfidus carefully stared at his loafers.

First published in The Dark Horse.

Maryann Corbett’s fifth book, In Code, will be published by Able Muse in 2020. Her work has won the Richard Wilbur Award and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and has been included in The Best American Poetry 2018.

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