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Book-Burning, a poem by Jared Carter


They were convinced, and set about
          destroying things
That were not pure. They had no doubt
          the fire would bring

A better world. But soon they found
          what is conveyed
In books and manuscripts is bound
          together, laid 

Like corner stones. The more they burned,
          the more those who
Could still remember sought to learn.
          Though they were few.

Jared Carter’s most recent book, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in Morgantown, West Virginia. His collection of new and selected poems, Darkened Rooms of Summer, is available from the University of Nebraska Press.