Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BUTCHER SHOP, by DAVID IGNATOW

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THE BUTCHER SHOP, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A disciplined institution
Last Line: Before a block of wood, / a kind of altar
Subject(s): Butchers; Social Commentaries

My work has become the making of tragic poems
to denounce me for my failures, each one
telling me of my selfishness and ungenerosity
toward others, of my inability to unbend.
I remain still, humble and ashamed in myself
to have given my poems a share of my bitterness,
now turned against me. I turn to my wife
as she takes my hands, knowing how I suffer
for being damned with my own deeds
and she protests. Do I not realize
I have a tree to sit under
and the whispering of its leaves
to listen to? They play about my head
and at my feet and have a father
to acknowledge them.

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