How can a punishment fit a crime?
What’s not ill-suited to a wrong?
The pants will always be too long;
Sisyphus got his overtime,
But how irrelevant! being light
In a heavy, dark and wrenching wind
Didn’t drape well across the kind
Of shape poor dear Francesca’s tight
Little hot games with Paolo took.
Sagging, with their braces frayed,
The overkill, the underplayed
Will always have an ugly look.
John Hollander is the Sterling Professor of English at Yale. His most recent collection of poetry is A Draft of Light (Knopf, 2008).