The June 19 LRB, on page 20, had a box entitled “Two Poems by Jean Sprackland.” The first, “The Source,” begins:
Want to learn the source,
the cool under the surface fire?
Watch the heron:
he snatches the silver voice
from the throat of the river
and swallows it live.
The second is called “In the Afternoon” and begins:
The devil likes the chicken coop.
He lies on a bed of straw
Watching the snow fall.
The hens fetch him eggs to suck,
But he’s not in the mood.
Cotton Mather is coming tonight,
Bringing a young witch.
You might want to do a quick mental compare-and-contrast before diving below the cut.
OK, here’s the kicker: in the July 3 issue, they published this highly embarrassing item:
In the LRB of 19 June we published two poems, ‘The Source’ and ‘In the Afternoon’, which we attributed to Jean Sprackland. She is indeed the author of ‘The Source’, but the author of ‘In the Afternoon’ is Charles Simic. We would like to apologise to both of them.
I wonder if anyone not previously familiar with the Simic poem read it and thought “That doesn’t sound like Sprackland“?