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  #11  
Old 10-15-2017, 05:54 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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That's such sad news, though a long life well lived. I can only selfishly hope now that he left behind a few more poems to remember him by.

To those of you who knew him well, my condolences.
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2017, 06:38 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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If I had to pick a favorite.

THE PARDON

My dog lay dead five days without a grave
In the thick of summer, hid in a clump of pine
And a jungle of grass and honey-suckle vine.
I who had loved him while he kept alive

Went only close enough to where he was
To sniff the heavy honeysuckle-smell
Twined with another odor heavier still
And hear the flies' intolerable buzz.

Well, I was ten and very much afraid.
In my kind world the dead were out of range
And I could not forgive the sad or strange
In beast or man. My father took the spade

And buried him. Last night I saw the grass
Slowly divide (it was the same scene
But now it glowed a fierce and mortal green)
And saw the dog emerging. I confess

I felt afraid again, but still he came
In the carnal sun, clothed in a hymn of flies,
And death was breeding in his lively eyes.
I started in to cry and call his name,

Asking forgiveness of his tongueless head.
. . . I dreamt the past was never past redeeming:
But whether this was false or honest dreaming
I beg death's pardon now. And mourn the dead.
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  #13  
Old 10-15-2017, 06:41 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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A thread is underway here, Michael.
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  #14  
Old 10-15-2017, 07:44 PM
john savoie john savoie is offline
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Taught "The Pardon" just last week, spending a full class period scanning every line and observing how aptly the sound echoes the sense.
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  #15  
Old 10-15-2017, 08:06 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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A disappointing obituary in the New York Times, which tastelessly spends too much time up front mentioning the views of those who didn't care for his poetry very much and doesn't seem to appreciate his enormous contribution.
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  #16  
Old 10-15-2017, 08:21 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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[removed at Tim's request]

Last edited by Roger Slater; 10-17-2017 at 06:58 AM. Reason: publication
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2017, 09:22 PM
Mark Blaeuer Mark Blaeuer is offline
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Although I didn't know Richard Wilbur personally, I'm nonetheless grateful that he lived and wrote. What a treasury of excellent poems he left behind for us and for future generations.
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2017, 09:30 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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The NYT obituary has errors of fact also, but that goes with the territory.
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2017, 10:29 PM
Charlotte Innes Charlotte Innes is offline
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I love "The Pardon" too and posted it on my Facebook page (courtesy of Robert Schecter). I also posted the NYT obit and must go back and take a look. It sounded hastily done, actually. I'll have find a better one.

It's so sad and yet he left a lot behind. Glad to have met him at West Chester.

Charlotte
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2017, 11:42 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Such lovely Wilbur poems. Whenever I think of Richard Wilbur, I think of this work:


"Cottage Street, 1953"


Framed in her phoenix fire-screen, Edna Ward
Bends to the tray of Canton, pouring tea
For frightened Mrs. Plath; then, turning toward
The pale, slumped daughter, and my wife, and me,

Asks if we would prefer it weak or strong.
Will we have milk or lemon, she enquires?
The visit seems already strained and long.
Each in his turn, we tell her our desires.

It is my office to exemplify
The published poet in his happiness,
Thus cheering Sylvia, who has wished to die;
But half-ashamed, and impotent to bless.

I am a stupid life-guard who has found,
Swept to his shallows by the tide, a girl
Who, far from shore, has been immensely drowned,
And stares through water now with eyes of pearl.

How large is her refusal; and how slight
The genteel chat whereby we recommend
Life, of a summer afternoon, despite
The brewing dusk which hints that it may end.

And Edna Ward shall die in fifteen years,
After her eight-and-eighty summers of
Such grace and courage as permit no tears,
The thin hand reaching out, the last word love.

Outliving Sylvia who, condemned to live,
Shall study for a decade, as she must,
To state at last her brilliant negative
In poems free and helpless and unjust.


http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilre...r-cottage.html
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