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poetry GREED, Exercising Noblesse Oblige

Tongue-in-cheek, Marin poet Rebecca Foust offers a sonnet about the seven deadly sins, and rich people who have their trickle-down rationalizations.

GREED, Exercising Noblesse Oblige

By Rebecca Foust

“Yes, our house is the size of the Queen Mary 2,
but that’s okay because we give so much
money away. We made “Grizzly Patch”
in last year’s Bear Hugs Campaign, and guess who
got named “Redwoods” in the Spring Garden Tour,
and in 41-point font in the program.
No fools we, giving to the private schools
that (and he worked for it, too) will ensure
Billy’s admission to Harvard. Thus do loaves
and fishes, tossed on the waters, return
as blue whales to be harpooned again.
The price tag on my suit? What absolves that
is my tailor, whose job depends on this tux:
Brioni, bespoke, and better than sex.”

Rebecca Foust’s most recent book, Paradise Drive, won the Press 53 Poetry Award and is nominated for the 2016 Poets’ Prize. It was reviewed in the Georgia Review, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Review of Books, and elsewhere. Recent recognitions include the American Literary Review Fiction Award judged by Garth Greenwall, the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield, and fellowships from the Frost Place, MacDowell, and Sewanee. Her website is

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