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By David Ferry

The sea bit,

As they said it would,

And the hill slid,

As they said it would,

And the poor dead

Nodded agog

The poor head.


O topmost lofty

Tower of Troy,

The poem apparently

Speaks with joy

Of terrible things.

Where is the pleasure

The poetry brings?


Tell if you can,

What does it make?

A city of man

That will not shake,

Or if it shake,

Shake with the splendor

Of the poem’s pleasure.


Source: Poetry (July 2011)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Mythology & Folklore

Poet Bio

David Ferry
David Ferry was born in Orange, New Jersey. He served in the Air Force for three years and became sergeant before matriculating at Amherst College, where he earned a BA, and then continuing at Harvard where he earned a PhD. After graduating, Ferry began teaching at Wellesley College, where he was a member of the faculty for over fifty years. Well-known as a translator of some of the world's major works of poetry, he is also a prize-winning poet in his own right, including the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation.

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