Hôtel de Ville

By John Tranter John Tranter Read the Q & A
The kids should visit a history museum
in their senior year, to understand disgrace as
one form of Clinton’s victory. On the other hand
the European Community foreign debt gives
everybody bad dreams. So we do need to solve
the problem of students reading difficult things
that will lead them astray: why did Rimbaud
turn from socialism to capitalism? As if

it matters. He is his own consolation prize.
We’d be delighted to have his uniform.
We want to see all the modern art stuff, too.
Thank you. Press the button marked “monument”
and see what happens: a recorded voice says
“I have wasted my life,” and we pay to listen.

Source: Poetry (December 2010).


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

December 2010
 John  Tranter


John Tranter has published more than twenty books of poetry, including Urban Myths: 210 Poems (Salt Publishing, 2006) and Starlight: 150 Poems (University of Queensland Press, 2010).

Continue reading this biography

Poems by John Tranter

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.