Anne Fleming

All the Norton Anthologies

Another in the series in which I make up poems for the titles of articles that thinks might be by me.

Bright darkness: the poetry of Lord Byron presented in the context of his life & times

if you stacked all the norton anthologies in the world
and made a house of them
it would burn easily
but it would burn bright
and it might be a skyscraper
so you’d need rebar
spearing the great authors
speaking of which (spearing)
I don’t advocate the burning of books
but if you roasted the norton anthology on a stick
wouldn’t the pages flail open,
the book going cylindrical like books do in the rain
where the spine curves into the core and
pages radiate like sea star arms
or anemones?
so maybe first what you do is you soak the norton anthology great authors edition and then you
let it fan out dry
and then you put it on a stick and hold it over the coals
and then it goes that slow slow fast way that
things catch fire
the flames all golden
and bright
in the
and Lord Byron cries out, “My life and times!”
and Beowulf howls
and Beckett’s eyebrows crackle
and Lord Byron cries out, “My life and times!”
and the Faerie Queen pops and sparks
and Milton mutters how right he was all along.


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