Burning the Book

By Ron Koertge b. 1940 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 nounslonging, rapture, bliss
land on every tongue, then disappear. 

Poem copyright ©2012 by Ron Koertge, whose most recent book of poems is Fever, Red Hen Press, 2006. Poem reprinted by permission of Ron Koertge.

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Poet Ron Koertge b. 1940


 Ron  Koertge


Poet and young-adult novelist Ron Koertge grew up in rural Olney, Illinois, and received a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from the University of Arizona.
Comfortable in both free verse and received form, Koertge writes poetry marked by irreverent yet compassionate humor and a range of personas and voices. He has published numerous collections of poetry, including the ghazal collection Indigo (2009), Fever (2006), . . .

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Poems by Ron Koertge


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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