Poetry Shelf Occasional Poems: Elizabeth Smither’s ‘The Etruscans’

The Etruscans  

In the British Museum
I love the Etruscans best.
I thought I would be simpatico with others

more genteel, less roughly hewed
as if from sandstone, not marble
deep thinkers, at it for years

by frozen water or under chandeliers
but these rough-hewn who loved
the present moment and pleasure

are the best this afternoon
when the darkness comes at three
the hour I imagine they dance.

Elizabeth Smither

Elizabeth Smither’s new collection, ‘My American Chair’ will be published in October/November by AUP and MadHat (USA).

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