Thursday, October 06, 2005

A poet worth remembering ...

Dave Lull, commenting on my earlier post noting Wallace Stevens's birthday, quotes Randall Jarrell as saying that Stevens "wrote some of his best and newest and strangest poems during the last year or two of a very long life." Another poet of whom the same can be said is far less known than Stevens, but deserves to be better known: John Hall Wheelock, friend and classmate of Van Wyck Brooks and Maxwell Perkins. The poetry Wheelock wrote during most of his career was solid, senstive stuff. But the arrival of old age -- he lived into his 90s -- seems to have brought out the best, the deepest, and the most original in Wheelock. Here's a sampler. The second, I think, is particularly good.

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