The new poetry collection by Stephen Burt, one of the most gifted poets of his generation (Frank Bidart) *An NPR Best Book of 2013 * A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Poetry Book of Spring 2013 * Our skills are finally in demand. If you mock us, Pan, In whom we also believe, do it As gently as you can. --from The People on the Bus In Belmont , Stephen Burt maps out the joys and the limits of the life he has chosen, the life that chose him, examining and reimagining parenthood, marriage, adulthood, and suburbia alongside a brace of wild or pretty alternatives: the impossible life of a girl raised by cats, the disappointed lives of would-be rock stars, and the real life to which he returns, with his family, in the town that gives the book its name, driving home in an ode-worthy silver Subaru. Can a life be invented the way a poem can? What does it mean for a precocious child, or a responsible grown-up, to depict the world we want? With wit, beauty, tenderness, and virtuosity, these poems define the precarious end of extended adolescence, and then ask what stands beyond.