Maxine Kumin


Purgatory - Poem by Maxine Kumin

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And suppose the darlings get to Mantua,
suppose they cheat the crypt, what next? Begin
with him, unshaven. Though not, I grant you, a
displeasing cockerel, there's egg yolk on his chin.
His seedy robe's aflap, he's got the rheum.
Poor dear, the cooking lard has smoked her eye.
Another Montague is in the womb
although the first babe's bottom's not yet dry.
She scrolls a weekly letter to her Nurse
who dares to send a smock through Balthasar,
and once a month, his father posts a purse.
News from Verona? Always news of war.
Such sour years it takes to right this wrong!
The fifth act runs unconscionably long.


Comments about Purgatory by Maxine Kumin

  • Rookie Glenda Shank (2/23/2006 4:15:00 PM)

    This is great, it takes imagination to take a fresh look at Shakespeare. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: war, father, running



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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