Cabaret Ludwig

By Rachel Wetzsteon 1967–2009 Rachel Wetzsteon
I’ll fly off to a fjord in Norway,
post “Oh the pain” above my doorway
if you insist on going your way,
           for this is not a duck.

That is what cowards say, and realists
who run away, shun the appeal its
rare white fur holds, although they feel it’s
           a rabbit full of pluck.

Let’s multiply, let’s twitch our noses,
let’s walk among the night’s dark roses,
though where the oldest story goes is
           a place where tongues might cluck.

I’ve had my share of quacks and hisses;
whereof mouth cannot speak, it kisses;
hop to it, man, and realize this is
           a lovely bit of luck.

Source: Poetry (October 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2010
 Rachel  Wetzsteon


Born in Manhattan, poet and editor Rachel Wetzsteon received degrees from Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University. She made her home in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which is the setting for many of her formally assured poems. Influenced by Charles Baudelaire, Soren Kierkegaard, and Philip Larkin, Wetzsteon infused her urban and emotional landscapes with a dry wit. As critic Adam . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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