a quietly masterful and thoroughly beguiling poem

by louis simpson


Once, some people were visiting Chekhov.

While they made remarks about his genius

the Master fidgeted. Finally

he said, ‘Do you like chocolates?’

They were astonished, and silent.

He repeated the question

whereupon one lady plucked up her courage

and murmured shyly, ‘Yes.’

‘Tell me,’ he said, leaning forward,

light glinting from his spectacles,

‘what kind? The light, sweet chocolate

or the dark, bitter …Read More