Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite “The boy stood on
the burning deck”. Love’s the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.
Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love’s the burning boy.
— Elizabeth Bishop, “Casabianca,” The Complete Poems: 1927-1979. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1983) Originally published January 1st 1980.