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Saturday, February 6, 2021

'The Words Happen'

 “In a poem, the words happen; they just come. I let them. Otherwise, I wouldn't write. To interfere with what is happening is to distort the poem.” – Louis Dudek

Born on this date in 1918, Dudek was a Canadian poet, academic and publisher known for his role in defining Modernism in poetry, and for his literary criticism. He was the author of over two dozen books of poetry and 14 other books on a wide range of subjects.   He also was the co-founder (with his wife Aileen) of DC Books.  Shortly before his death in 2001 he was given a special Canadian Writers Award and named for the Order of Canada.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Dudek’s, 


The poet in old age

The poet in old age
            between Orpheus and Morpheus,
cut off from the media,

thinks that Jaws
             is a movie about dentists.

Remembers sex
as something he missed
                            in youth.

Finds serenity of old age
an illusion.

Spends his days meditating
      on things he will never do.

(Might take up a second career,
if he knew what he always knew
              he wanted to do)

Sleeps well, the first part of the night,
            and any part of the day.

When asked, says he’s o.k.
Doubts that you would listen
               to the whole story, anyway.

            (From Dudek’s 1990 book Continuation II)



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