The allegory of The Scarlet Letter by
Nathaniel Hawthorne isn’t flawless; yet it is,
in places, good. The A itself does signify
adultery, able, and angel, as well as
in the hornbook phrase, “in Adam’s fall, we sinnéd all.”
I also think it represents America,
a nation married to the old and natural,
to knowledge of the dark and awful, hard to see,
to healing drugs, and herbs, to the medicinal;
yet is in love with meek spirituality,
as well as the divine, the heavens and the sky,
sadly aware of evil and mortality.


Wilbur dee Case has been described as “a poet of the particular and the random.  He even writes poetic literary criticism, as in the [above] poem.  His topics frankly are unpredictable, an ongoing puzzle.”

Featured Image: “The Scarlet Letter” by Hugues Merle

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One Response

  1. Reid McGrath

    “The Scarlet Letter” by Monsieur Merle portrays
    a recalcitrant and obdurate Hester Prynne.
    She’s homely as Batista Sforza in the rays
    of sun painted by Piero Francesca in
    Renaissance Italy; the backdrop’s near as big.
    In Hugues’, it’s mostly made up of sky, whereas in
    Piero’s, there’s more tawn desert, dotted with fig.
    Two passerby, down to the left, amble by her.
    Pearl, ironically named, tries to fondle and dig
    for her mom’s bosom, beneath the A, which bestirs,
    in later years, her temper-tantrum and dismay
    when Prynne sheds it. Merle’s “The Widow” I prefer.


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