In memory.

A couple of days ago, I posted a blog that housed a short video with a poem called Layers by a poet called Stanley Kunitz.  I had first come across his work after having read an obituary for him, which struck such a chord with me, that I sat down and wrote a poem, in his honour, and inspired by his style and message.  I am shocked sometimes, by the immediacy of the spirit which resides in the work of artists.  Shocked, delighted and enlivened by it. Surely this is one of the critical meanings we give art,  the artist expressing a truth so universal and simultaneously personal that it has life force within it.  The creation becomes so much more than the creator intended,  energising the spirit of the recipient, and being interpreted in the context of the recipients own life experiences.  Thus it is, that Zurbaran , the fifteenth century artist  can say so much to me, a twentyfirst century onlooker.  What I revel in, when I see his painting of the still life of lemons, is the implacability of Time, something he could not have foreseen when he painted it. He could not have known that his choice of still life was timeless, that we would be viewing it as though it could have been a contemporary painting.

To get back to my initial point,  the poem I read inspired in me a new poem, new life, new work. Exciting.  Here is the poem I wrote, as a memorial to Stanley.

In memory of Stanley Kunitz

Hear this; all poets, would-be wordsmiths,

Stanley is gone. Stanley Kunitz, died 101.

(Read and grievc, grieve and read)


A magician amongst wizards, Auden,

Cummins, Ginsberg went before,

overshadowing Stan, but not outliving;

the man , as was the poet, worthy of our awe.


His lifetime lived in query,

of a father never known;

death by suicide, and Stan

warm in the womb.

(Read and grieve, grieve and read)


His muse played amongst

beloved plants and flowers,

man of spirituality,

knowing the depth

of their heavenly powers.

‘Desire and desire

and desire’ his hand me down,

a way to live, a tinderbox

to ignite others fire.


Loving Keats, and Blake and

struggling, as poets do.,

the chaos of being here,

and now, the conundrum


Hear this; all poets, would-be wordsmiths,

Stanley is gone. Stanley Kunitz, died 101.




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