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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Using Words Most Effectively

The aim of the poet, or other artist, is first to make something; and it's impossible to make something out of words and not communicate.” – James Schuyler

Born in Chicago on this date in 1923, Schuyler wrote 24 books of poetry, a novel and several plays, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem and the Frank O’Hara Prize for his first book of poetry Freely Espousing, published in 1969.   A central figure in the New York School of Poetry, he was a writer for Art News before turning to poetic writing full time.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Schuyler’s simply titled, 
                               This beauty that I see
                               —the sun going down
                               scours the entangled
                               and lightly henna
                               withys and the wind
                               whips them as it
                               would ship a cloud—
                               is passing so swiftly
                               into night. A moon,
                               full and flat, and stars
                               a freight train passing
                               passing it is the sea
                               and not a train. This
                               beauty that collects
                               dry leaves in pools
                               and pockets and goes
                               freezingly, just able
                               still to swiftly flow
                               it goes, it goes.

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