Annotating the Text

This poem was the first place winner for the Litchfield Review Poetry Prize a few years ago. You can also find it and others in Four Blue Eggs. Purchase your copy for a 20% discount during National Poetry Month–April

Annotating the Text

I tell my students to take up
their pens, savor the highlighter,
revel in the anticipation of appending
the words we make love to.
Most let their eyes follow the page
but not their untrained hearts, although
timidly, a few scribble whispers
on pages, becoming active, joining
in a dialogue with Bartleby.
One day they might revisit
these tactile memories, permanent
records of their comparative thought,
or maybe one of them
will remember this intimacy
upon finding, deep in the Tragedies,
her mother’s small handwriting
on a copy of Othello, urging Desdemona
to stay the course. One of these daughters
will find buried in the basement
dog-eared, spine broken, her name
underlined with a star next to it.




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