(Luwadlin Bosman/Unsplash)

Champagne and a ribeye, that’s the ticket,
Beethoven’s string quartet in C# minor,
and good riddance to another plague year.
The mind can provide, provide,
and theories will continue to propose
themselves in politically incorrect seminars
in which ardent young men declare
the whole study of aesthetics may be
divided between Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”
and the fashion industry. Nor is it just
a luxury, this taste for delicacies, this
indulgence in beauty for its own sake,
these academic escapades and linguistic
adventures that may eventuate in
a poem of delight, desired and deserved.

David Lehman is the editor of the Oxford Book of American Poetry, the general editor of the Best American Poetry anthology series, and the author of such recent books as The Mysterious Romance of Murder: Crime, Detection, and the Spirit of Noir and The Morning Line, a book of poems. He writes an occasional column on movies for the American Scholar.

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Published in the December 2022 issue: View Contents
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