Prufrock's Page

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kunitz's Century

Sometimes, you say, I wear
an abstracted look that drives you
up the wall, as though it signified
distress or disaffection.
Don't take it so to heart.
Maybe I enjoy not-being as much
as being who I am. Maybe
it's time for me to practice
growing old. The way I look
at it, I'm passing through a phase:
gradually I'm changing to a word.
Whatever you choose to claim
of me is always yours:
nothing is truly mine
except my name. I only
borrowed this dust.

That's an excerpt from 'Passing Through', by Stanley Kunitz, who turns 100 this year.

The New York Times has this op-ed piece on the man who was twice poet laureate of the United States, mentioning that one of his "commanding inventions" was Poets House in SoHo.

One has a fond memory of visiting this book-lined haven a few years ago -- more for the cheese and wine than the poetry reading in progress, alas.


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