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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Our 'gifts' for the giving


“The gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.” – Rod McKuen

Born on this day in 1933, singer-songwriter, musician and poet Rod McKuen was one of the best-selling poets in the United States during the late 1960s and '70s.  McKuen, who died in 2015,  produced more than 30 books of poetry, and hundreds of recordings of popular music, spoken word poetry, film soundtracks and classical music. He earned two Academy Award nominations and one Pulitzer nomination for his compositions.
                                                                                                                         
I've always admired his works The Earth, The Sea and The Sky and his beautiful, sentimental ballad
 If You Go Away.  For Saturday’s Poem, from his string of poems that are simply titled with numbers, here is:
                                                                                                                                                     Twenty

People riding trains are nice
they offer magazines
and Chocolate-covered cherries,
they offer details you want most to know
                                      about their recent operations.
If I’d been riding home to you
I could have listened with both ears
but I was on my way away.

Across from me
there was a girl crying
                        (long, silent tears)
while an old man held her hand.
It was only a while ago you said,
Take the seat by the window,
                             you’ll see more.

I filled the seat beside me
with my coat and books.
I’m antisocial without you.
I’m antiworld and people too.

Sometimes I think
I’ll never ride a train again.
At least not away.


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