American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Stanley Plumly

Inevitably alchemy, the lesser into the greater,
morphing to the pupa stage, the chrysalis,
but faster, the cuticle of skin sloughed off,
regrown, and shed again, each larval, instar
meta phase passing through more molting lives
than saints — five, six times before the final birth,
then into the light, like eyes wadded up, then slowly,
with the blood, wings opening. Opening and closing.

— Stanley Plumly, from “Butterflies,” Old Heart: Poems. (W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition, September 17, 2007)

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