Monday, April 20, 2009

Poetry 20: Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell is one my favorites among the poets I discovered this semester. I read his collection, Strong is Your Hold, and enjoyed it quite a bit. There is poem in there about the World Trade Center tragedy that blew my socks off. But it turns out that I liked his stuff long before I ever read any of his collections. The other day I was thumbing through an old anthology I have from my college days, and I found a poem by Kinnell that I had liked so much years ago that I had folded the corner of the page down. I never noticed who wrote it before, so it's funny to me that I have now "discovered" a poet that I liked many years ago.

So here's the one from my anthology, which is all over the internet so I figure I'm OK quoting it all here.

Blackberry Eating
by Galway Kinnell

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry -- eating in late September.

Tomorrow I will feature another, very different, poem about blackberries.


Th. said...


Will it be Robert Frost?

Michelle said...

ooh, love that one

Mr. said...