poem index

poet

Stephanie Burt

Washington , DC , United States
Printer-friendly version

Stephanie Burt was born in 1971 and raised in Washington, D.C. She received a BA from Harvard University in 1994 and a PhD in English from Yale University in 2000.

Burt, who has published under the name Stephen, is the author of the poetry collections Advice from the Lights (Graywolf Press, 2017), Belmont (Graywolf Press, 2013), and Parallel Play (Graywolf Press, 2006). About her debut book Donald Revell writes, "Stephen Burt has found a courage I’d never imagined until I read these poems. It is the courage to expound the consolations of terror, to declare that we are the ancients of ourselves, already more accustomed than we know to life in the ruins. With Parallel Play, Burt becomes the Cavafy of these former United States. It will be a privilege to await the barbarians in his good company."

Also a literary critic, Burt is the author of The Poem Is You (Harvard Unviersity Press, 2016); Close Calls with Nonsense (Graywolf Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press, 2010); and Popular Music (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999), among others.

Burt is currently a professor of English at Harvard University. She lives in the suburbs of Boston, Massachussetts.


Bibliography

Poetry
Belmont (Graywolf Press, 2013)
Parallel Play (Graywolf Press, 2006)

Prose
The Poem Is You (Harvard University Press, 2016)
The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press, 2010)
Close Calls With Nonsense (Graywolf Press, 2009)
Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler (University of Virginia Press, 2009)
The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia University Press, 2007)
Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden (University Press, 2005)
Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia University Press, 2002)
Popular Music (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999)

by this poet

poem

Things you know but can’t say,
the sort of things, or propositions
that build up week after week at the end of the day,

& have to be dredged
by the practical operators so that their grosser cargo
& barges & boxy schedules can stay.

The great shovels and beaks and the

poem
Like the Beatles arriving from Britain,
the egret's descent on the pond
takes the reeds and visitors by storm:
it is a reconstructed marsh
environment, the next
best thing to living out your wild life.

                  *

Footbridges love the past.
And like the Roman questioner who learned
"the whole of the
poem

Little megaphones,
we hang out in the garden center and gossip
with the petunias three seasons a year.

With leaves too small to resemble
thumbs or hands or hearts, too soft
for any parts
of our threadable stems to grow thorns,
we prefer to pretend we are horns,
cornets and

2