We set ourself to a long and difficult art,
     An amateur at heart.
We said, “A poem should be like fragile ware,
     Perfect and bone-bare
And real enough to touch, if one has courage.”
     That was a tender age.
Some cracked, and some, more obstinate than we,
     Kept their deformity.
Here are the crazed, misshapen, and time-tarnished
     Poems we once wished—
All that luck, zeal, and pains of craft would spare—
     Finished beyond repair.

A Message from the Editors

Our past successes are owed to our greatest ambassadors: our readers. Our future rests on your support, as The New Criterion Editor Roger Kimball explains. Will you help us continue to bring our incisive review of the arts and culture to the next generation of readers?

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 2 Number 8, on page 66
Copyright © 2017 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com