Monday, February 08, 2010

Quotation : Kenneth Koch

I said to so many people once, "I write poetry."
They said, "Oh, so you are a poet." Or they said,
"What kind of poetry do you write? modern poetry?"
Or "My brother-in-law is a poet also."
Now if I say, "I am the poet Kenneth Koch," they say "I think I've
    heard of you"
Or "I'm sorry but that doesn't ring a bell" or
"Would you please move out of the way? You're blocking my view
Of that enormous piece of meat that they are lowering into the Bay
Of Pigs." What? Or "What kind of poetry do you write?"

Kenneth Koch, from "Days and Nights," in The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch (Knopf, 2007), p. 403

Sunday, February 07, 2010


      Autumn afternoon --
in the cool, dark chapel a
      single candle glows.


      Look! The branches of
these sturdy, ancient trees are
      blossoming -- with snow!


      Yesteryear's verses --
racing horses, strong and fierce!
      Now our words stumble.


      Winter moonlight, cold
and pure as hundred-proof gin,
      goes down like water.


      Poet sleeps and dreams
of the perfect line. Wakes up
      and forgets the words.


      Cold Sunday morning --
sun shines on the golden cross
      of the small Greek church.