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Liberty Brass

I was sitting across from the rotating sign
For the Liberty Brass Turning Company

Automatic Screw Machine Products

And brooding about our fathers
Always on the make to make more money

Screw Machine Products Automatic

Tender wounded brassy unsystematic
Free American men obsessing about margins

Machine Products Automatic Screw

Selling every day of their God-damned lives
To some Liberty Brass Turning Company

Products Automatic Screw Machine

Until they were screwed into boxes
And planted in plots paid and unpaid

Automatic Screw Machine Products

—Edward Hirsch

“Liberty Brass” by Edward Hirsch.

By permission of the author.

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch (1950- ) was born in Chicago and attended Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books of poetry and four books of criticism. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award for Wild Gratitude (1986), as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. The president of the Guggenheim Foundation, he currently serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Photo credit: Julie Dermansky.

Learn more about Edward Hirsch at The Poetry Foundation