Excerpt from

    -- for Jane kenyon

It is a day after many days of storms.
Having been washed and washed, the air glitters;
small heaped cumuli blow across the sky; a shower
visible against the firs douses the crocuses.
We knew it would happen one day this week.
Now, when I learn you have died, I go
to the open door and look across at New Hampshire
and see that there, too, the sun is bright
and clouds are making their shadowy ways along the horizon;
and I think: How could it not have been today?

Galway Kinnell at the Academy of American Poets

Galway Kinnell at Modern American Poetry

Tad Richards on Galway Kinnell

The poet's voice is the public part of his art. As Kinnell explains it, "When you're writing, you're not very aware of an audience. No doubt it's around the fringes of your consciousness, that you are setting out to make something whose eventually destiny is to touch the hearts of people who will read it. But that disappears as you get deeper into the writing, which is a process of making, of constructing an object which will contain a version of the truth.

"In reading, your task becomes to put the poem into those hearts. You have to focus on getting to the audience, on finding your way there. You have to reach out, even when you're not quite sure who you're reaching out to, when the lights are bright and you can't see the audience."

Reading and discussing his work

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Go to Tad Richards home page