but I knew enough to be excited that W.S. Merwin was visiting my MFA program to do a reading and later mingle with us at the wine-and-cheese.
I expected to meet the dark-haired Heathcliff-looking Sylvia Plath friend from the 1950's, but this man was white-haired and ancient,
he had piercing blue eyes, and when I mingled with him while drinking my wine and eating my cheese, I want to think that I didn't mention Sylvia Plath,
that instead, asked him about his poems or at least sounded halfway interested and serious,
What I probably talked with him about was his poem "Air" because I'd used it in a poetry workshop when the assignment was to write a poem using another poem as a model, writing yours with the same number of syllables per line,
or I might've talked to him about his poem "For the Anniversary of My Death" Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
because I was blown away by how obvious the idea was and yet I'd never thought about it before,
but who knows what we talked about. That was almost thirty years ago. I think he signed his latest book for me...
I just now checked, and the small volume of poetry is there on my bookshelf, proving I do have half a brain.
Today, the "Poem a Day" in my poetry.org email said: "Remembering W.S. Merwin." Apparently, he died two days ago, March 15th.
And so we both passed the day without knowing it.
I share your marvel at the concept of "Anniversary of My Death." I wonder what he would have thought about its being the Ides of March?ReplyDelete
The Ides of March! I wasn't even thinking of that. But I can imagine he would've liked it.Delete