Pub. Date:
Belmont: Poems

Belmont: Poems

by Stephanie Burt


Usually ships within 6 days


The new poetry collection by Stephen Burt, "one of the most gifted poets of his generation" (Frank Bidart)

*An NPR Best Book of 2013 * A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Poetry Book of Spring 2013 *

Our skills are finally in demand.

If you mock us, Pan,

In whom we also believe, do it

As gently as you can.

—from "The People on the Bus"

In Belmont, Stephen Burt maps out the joys and the limits of the life he has chosen, the life that chose him, examining and reimagining parenthood, marriage, adulthood, and suburbia alongside a brace of wild or pretty alternatives: the impossible life of a girl raised by cats, the disappointed lives of would-be rock stars, and the real life to which he returns, with his family, in the town that gives the book its name, driving home in an ode-worthy silver Subaru. Can a life be invented the way a poem can? What does it mean for a precocious child, or a responsible grown-up, to depict the world we want? With wit, beauty, tenderness, and virtuosity, these poems define the precarious end of extended adolescence, and then ask what stands beyond.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555976446
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Stephen Burt is the author of three poetry collections and several critical books, including Close Calls with Nonsense, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at Harvard University and lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Poem of Nine A.M. 3


The People on the Bus 7

Nathan 8

Belmont Overture (Poem of Eight A.M.) 11

To Subarus 12

Reverse Deciduous Existence 13

Peonies 15

Exploring the Suburbs 16

Poem of Seven A.M. 17

To Autumn 18

Color Theory 19

Words for Tea Towels 20

The Task 21

Sunday Afternoon 22

"When the Sweet Wind Did Gently Kiss the Trees" 23

First Astronomy Globe 24

Owl Music 25

Poem of Six A.M. 28

A Sock Is Not a Human Being 30


The Paraphilia Odes 35

Stephanie 40

Iodine 41

Rue 42

Fictitious Girl Raised by Cats 44

For Avril Lavigne 45

Draft Camp 46

Two Victorian Scenes 47

Little Lament for the Legion of Super-Heroes 49

Bad Newz 50

So Let Am Not 52

Geno 55

Text Messages 56

Self-Portrait as Muppet 58

The Soul 59

In Memory of the Rock Band Breaking Circus 60


Dulles Access Road 65

Tarmac with Soundtrack 66

Over Connecticut 67

An Atlas of the Atlas Moth 68

Swingline Stapler 69

Prothalamion with Laocoön Simulacrum 71

Living Next to the River (José Luis Rivas) 73

Sunday Afternoon in Chapultepec Park (Alberto Blanco) 75

There 77

Kendall Square in the Rain 79

Storrow Drive in the Sun 80

Ocean State Job Lot 81

Over Wingaersheek Beach 82

Helplessness 83

Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk 85

The Future 86

Chlorophyll 87

Hyperborea 88

El Nido 89

Bifrost 91

Flooded Meadow 92

Butterfly with Parachute 93

Customer Reviews