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Stanley Kunitz – Furious Change for 100 Years + Mark Doty

“For most of a century, Stanley Kunitz has cultivated generations of poems—and poets, The Gardner by Dana Goodyear. (New Yorker Magazine)

Stanley Kunitz

“In Roethke, Kunitz found someone with a similar set of psychological and poetic concerns—the lost father (just before Roethke’s fifteenth birthday, his father had died, of cancer) and the botanical world (Roethke’s family operated greenhouses). They also shared a sense of isolation: Roethke called himself “the oldest younger poet in the U.S.A.,” and Kunitz felt the same. Eliot, Pound, Williams, and Stevens had had a paralyzing effect on the generation that came afterward. “It was difficult to be a poet if you were born at the beginning of the twentieth century,” Kunitz said.

On July 29th he celebrated his 100th birthday, from here.
Video files – Watch and listen – 3 poems
The Layers, Touch Me, Passing Through.

“The Quarrel” by Stanley Kunitz & Robert Motherwell, 1983, a poem and a painting via here.

More poems by Stanley K.

Mark Dody dedicated this poem to Stanley on his birthday two years ago.

Heaven For Stanley

For his birthday, I gave Stanley a hyacinth bean,
an annual, so he wouldn’t have to wait for the flowers.

He said, Mark, I have just the place for it!
as if he’d spend ninety-eight years

anticipating the arrival of this particular vine.

I thought poetry a brace against time,
the hours held up for study in a voice’s cool saline,

but his allegiance is not to permanet forms.
His garden’s all furious change,

budding and rot and then the coming up again;

why prefer any single part of the round?
I don’t know that he’d change a word of it;

I think he could be forever pleased
to participate in motion. Something opens.

He writes it down. Heaven steadies
and concentrates near the lavender. He’s already there.

(School of the Arts Poems by Mark Doty)

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