Godfrey’s Last Sonnet
                          (Euterpe’s Period)

By Edward Butscher

That time of year when I become a frog

undone by loss who leaps from hackneyed rhymes

into a princess bed with Grendel’s bog

and is flung against stone walls, entrails slimed


I must make a covenant with the rat

and the roach, sharing survival’s beast quest

for the least against eons of fire and cats

though it entails not marrying fear’s jest


to breed the lesser selves that are supposed

to bleed fossil arteries soft and feed

forgetful heads—if not turned bellicose

by peers, abuse, or bad chromosome seeds.


But my stalked first love’s beauty stays unstained

like a thought axed from its wet dreaming brain.


Born and raised in Flushing, Queens, Edward Butscher’s poems, stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals since the early 1970’s, including the Saturday Review of Literature, Poetry, Georgia Review, Newsday, and the American Book Review. In 1976 Seabury Press published his Poems About Silence and Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness, first biography of the controversial poet. He also edited Sylvia Plath: The Woman and the Work (1978) for Dodd, Mead, and his Adelaide Crapsey was published in 1979 as a title in Twayne’s United States Authors series.

Cross Cultural Communications published two collections of his poems, Amagansett Cycle (1980) and Unfinished Sequence (1981), and his only novel, Faces on the Barroom Floor, appeared from Contemporary Press in 1984. He co-edited (with Irving Malin) a special issue of Twentieth Century Literature in 1986 devoted to the work of Paul Bowles. His Conrad Aiken: Poet of White Horse Vale, published in 1988 by the University of Georgia Press, won the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Cane Award for that year

Edward Butscher is the author of Peter Wild (1992) in the Western Writers of America series and Eros Descending (1992), a group of lyrics from an on-going sequence issued as a Dusty Dog Chapbook, and has been a contributing scholar for a number of reference works, among them, The Reference Guide to Short Fiction (St. James Press), MaGill’s Survey of Contemporary Poetry, and Oxford University’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English.

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