Jonathan Galassi


Il Catullo Americano 


JL always made a joke of this

old story about how he started out

but selfish Ezra cut him to the quick.

Yet in his later years he found his way

back to his first love and his poems flowed,

hemistichs and other arcane forms

lifted from Adelaide Crapsey and like guides.

His poems have a foursquare honesty;

like Pound they come out of the  classic masters.

JL was very proud of being called 

"il Catullo americano"

in an Italian review. His view of love

was chivalrous and formulaic, charmed

and rleaxed and mildly lubricious

in an old-style, gentlemanly way.

It was like his crew cut and knit ties,

emblems of a gone patrician ease

that took learning for granted and loved the idea

of love and loving, always being in love.


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