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(664) On Discovering a Butterfly - Nabokov

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  • Sam Droege
    On Discovering a Butterfly I found it and I named it, being versed in taxonomic Latin; thus became godfather to an insect and its first describer -- and I want
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2006
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      On Discovering a Butterfly

      I found it and I named it, being versed
      in taxonomic Latin; thus became
      godfather to an insect and its first
      describer -- and I want no other fame.

      Wide open on its pin (though fast asleep),
      and safe from creeping relatives and rust,
      in the secluded stronghold where we keep
      type specimens it will transcend its dust.

      Dark pictures, thrones, the stones that pilgrims kiss,
      poems that take a thousand years to die
      but ape the immortality of this
      red label on a little butterfly.

      -- Vladimir Nabokov
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