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Letter To Kizer From Seattle Analysis



Author: poem of Richard Hugo Type: poem Views: 7

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Dear Condor: Much thanks for that telephonic support

from North Carolina when I suddenly went ape

in the Iowa tulips. Lord, but I'm ashamed.

I was afraid, it seemed, according to the doctor

of impending success, winning some poetry prizes

or getting a wet kiss. The more popular I got,

the softer the soft cry in my head: Don't believe them.

You were never good. Then I broke and proved it.

Ten successive days I alienated women

I liked best. I told a coed why her poems were bad

(they weren't) and didn't understand a word I said.

Really warped. The phrase "I'll be all right"

came out too many unsolicited times. I'm o.k. now.

I'm back at the primal source of poems: wind, sea

and rain, the market and the salmon. Speaking

of the market, they're having a vital election here.

Save the market? Tear it down? The forces of evil

maintain they're trying to save it too, obscuring,

of course, the issue. The forces of righteousness,

me and my friends, are praying for a storm, one

of those grim dark rolling southwest downpours

that will leave the electorate sane. I'm the last poet

to teach the Roethke chair under Heilman.

He's retiring after 23 years. Most of the old gang

is gone. Sol Katz is aging. Who isn't? It's close now

to the end of summer and would you believe it

I've ignored the Blue Moon. I did go to White Center,

you know, my home town, and the people there,

many are the same, but also aging, balking, remarkably

polite and calm. A man whose name escapes me

said he thinks he had known me, the boy who went alone

to Longfellow Creek and who laughed and cried

for no reason. The city is huge, maybe three quarters

of a million and lots of crime. They are indicting

the former chief of police. Sorry to be so rambling.

I eat lunch with J. Hillis Miller, brilliant and nice

as they come, in the faculty club, overlooking the lake,

much of it now filled in. And I tour old haunts,

been twice to Kapowsin. One trout. One perch. One poem.

Take care, oh wisest of condors. Love. Dick. Thanks again.






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