A Poem for Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell. Photo by Richard Brown.

Galway Kinnell. Photo by Richard Brown.

Galway Kinnell was honored today fat the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vermont for his accomplishments as a poet. Vermont Poet Gary Margolis wrote this as a tribute to Kinnell.

Coming to the Statehouse to Honor Galway Kinnell
by Gary Margolis

Under Washington, his portrait,
in this chamber, the well
of the House, we’ve come
to honor one of ours.

Word-neighbor. Poem-maker.
Among other things, champion
of using is three times rightly
and consecutively in a verse’s

line. Here, where our state’s once
chief executive welcomes us and asks
what our state would be, if
we, wall-to-wall, poets were voted in

to caste our votes. We’re sitting
at their desks with the aye and nay
switch close at hand. And listening
to his words read back to him.

By our country’s best representatives.
I mean his writing, singing heirs.
Who, as Frost said, say his poems
into our listening air. Our poet, sitting

among us, holding his hand to his ear,
speaker-like. Although you can be sure
he can read their lips, for a scent
of bear, love-moaning from a bedroom.

a field’s lipstick of blueberries.
As well as the pause between words.
Where he lives, too. Here in our fortunate
Vermont. We can fill a well with the songs

of Galway Kinnell. Who we can’t do without.
Who’s not here to sit for his portrait.
Who still speaks in and out.
Who rises to our long standing applause.

Learn more about Gary Margolis.

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