The Crucible


by Daniel Bosch

After virtue, under the eye of the clock,
Patterns of culture in our time, our bodies,
Ourselves, let us now praise famous men,
Invisible cities, pride and prejudice.

After Babel, to the land of the cattails,
Tender is the night of grammatology,
The well-wrought urn, silence in the snowy fields,
Paradise lost from here to eternity.

Other criteria hopscotch on liberty,
On deconstruction, on dreams.
The separate notebooks cry “the beloved country.”
Mimesis travels with Charley, islands in the stream

Marry me. Far from the madding crowd, the possessed
Bang the drum slowly against interpretation,
Pale fire, men and women, labyrinths, the best
Short stories of 1988, civilization

And its discontents. Languages of art,
I know why the caged bird sings:
To have and have not a part of speech,
Of time and the river, the order of things.


“The Crucible” was first published in Harvard Review #4, Spring 1993.

About the Author:


Daniel Bosch‘s poems and translations have been published in journals such as Poetry, Slate, The Times Literary Supplement, Agni, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New Republic and The Paris Review. He was Poetry Editor at Harvard Review for issues 19 and 20. In 1998 he was awarded the Boston Review Poetry Prize for a set of poems riffing on films starring Tom Hanks, and his first collection of poems, Crucible, was published by Other Press in 2002.  Recent essay-reviews by Daniel can be read at ArtsfuseContemporary Poetry ReviewThe Critical Flame, The Rumpus and The Fortnightly Review. He lives in Chicago.