Monday, September 14, 2009

Link to the reprinted “For Etheridge Knight (1931—March 10, 1991)

The very fine editors at Fox Chase Review just reprinted “For Etheridge Knight (1931—March 10, 1991),” which is the most reprinted and anthologized poem I ever wrote, I think.

It’s an elegy for a great poet and an old friend, but it ends on a very high note.

The direct link is:

I almost never read this elegy for audiences because it is hard to get through the feelings of loss. But it is probably one of the things that sticks with people better than almost anything else I ever wrote.

Whenever I feel a need for inspiration, there are a few poets I return to (whether I want to or not). Etheridge is one of those poets.

Galway Kinnell memorialized his friendship with Etheridge in a beautiful poem, calling him the "brother of my heart." Etheridge was so much older than me that I could not feel like that in the same way that a peer could. But it was really something else to hear him read. He was the real, distinctive thing.

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