To my fellow classmates at Carlyle Elementary:

As many of you know by now, allegations have been made that the collection of limericks entitled “The Nantucket Series” that I performed at recess three days ago were plagiarized. I deeply regret that this is true.

What I appropriated as “The Nantucket Series” was originally published in The Lad’s Book of Dirty Limericks, by M. Hunt. The book was discovered stuffed behind my father’s collection of spy thrillers on the bookshelf in my parent’s home office, where I am not allowed to play. Despite the cartoonish cover illustration, I immediately recognized the literary value in the work. Its thematic reach easily rivaled the classic “Couplets on Bodily Functions”, and I saw how the A-A-B-B-A structure would be a the greatest leap forward in playground poetry since Ethan brought back “Barnacle Bill the Sailor” from his spring break visit to his cousins in Michigan. I was hungry for recognition and attention, and arrogant to think that I could pass off this work as my own. I humbly apologize to Mr. Hunt. It was wrong of me to try to take credit for his work, and the limerick form he developed is truly original and he deserves wider recognition.

I also apologize to my friends and colleagues in the fourth grade whom I misled. My actions were irresponsible and have tarnished the entire class’s reputation in the literary community at Carlyle Elementary. I fully accept the consequences of my actions. I am resigning as sixth period hall monitor, effective immediately; that is a position of public trust I can no longer occupy in good conscience. I am also suspending my campaign for next year’s fifth grade class president.

I hope that going forward, I will be able to regain your trust and move past these offenses. I must live with the knowledge that this incident will cloud reception of my future work. My previous work will also be questioned. Already, the themes of dispossession, blame, and false piety in my best-known poem, “Smelt It/Dealt It,” have taken on uncomfortable new meaning for me.

I will continue to work to make amends, but at this time, I request that you respect my solitude during Quiet Reading Period.