The Artistic Cruelty of the Spanish Dancer

Spanish DancerIn the mid-1960s I was writing a lot of poetry. My idols in the world of poetry at that time were Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, W. B. Yeats, William Blake, Alexander Pope, and my long esteemed favorite, John Keats. I think it is only fair to say that my poems stunk and even with the support of one college professor who read everything I wrote and made comments, all of my collected works were probably turned into rolling papers when I was in grad school.

But I guess I made copies (this was in the carbon copy age before the rise of Xeroxtopus) since I occasionally find a yellowing piece of folded paper in an old book which still can cause me embarrassment.

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“Fears” of Malte Laurids Brigge

RilkeI am lying-in my bed five flights up, and my day, which nothing interrupts, is like a clock-face without hands. As something that has been lost for a long time reappears one morning in its old place, safe and sound, almost newer than when it vanished, just as if someone had been taking care of it—: so, here and there on my blanket, lost feelings out of my childhood lie and are like new. All the lost fears are here again.

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