Today's poem is by Al Ortolani

Forgetting Dante in Third Period

I was reading canto thirty-four to my senior English class.
Virgil was climbing out of circle nine; Dante
slugged toward Purgatory. The storm
that had been building in charcoal clouds
hit the windows—lightning shimmered, thunder banged.
All seven rows turned to watch.
Spines cracked—terza rima flattened. Twenty-seven
copies of the Ciardi translation
hit the wood.
It was a tremendous moment

for forgetting centuries of literature. The rain
streamed in sheets across the glass. One girl
claimed the whole world
was getting scrubbed in a carwash.

Copyright © 2016 Al Ortolani All rights reserved
from Paper Birds Don't Fly
NYQ Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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