Frabjous Times

poetry writing culture quote

Birthday of Stanley Kunitz

Poet Stanley Kunitz turns 100 today: “I don't think I will ever stop writing, until I stop breathing. As long as I have strength, I'll continue.”
Three years ago at the which was then being held in Waterloo, NJ, I heard Stanley Kunitz speak of his life and read the following autobiographical poem in his soft voice:
Who whispered, souls have shapes?
so has the wind, I say.
But I don't know,
I only feel things blow.

I had two sisters once
with long black hair
who walked apart from me
and wrote the history of tears.
Their story's faded with their names,
but the candlelight they carried,
like dancers in a dream,
still flickers on their gowns
as they bend over me
to comfort my night-fears.

Let nothing grieve you,
Sarah and Sophia,
Shush, shush, my dears,
now and forever.
I asked him to autograph my copy of his Collected Poems, and it was quite a thrill. I regret that last fall because of teething problems in my business, I was unable to attend the Dodge Festival at its new site in central Jersey.
Originally published: 2005/07/29 19:32:19
Previously published: Fri Jul 29 18:34:00 2005