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Stanley Kunitz on poetry and lifeAdd to Queue

  • Posted by : hocopolitso

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970


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In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo's "The Writing Life," Stanley Kunitz (named National Poet Laureate in 2000 at age 95) converses with his onetime student, poet and author of the best critical study of Kunitz poetry, Gregory Orr. At age 88, the much-honored Kunitz reflects: "Poetry is most deeply concerned with telling us what it feels like to be alive." "Before there were poets we had no evidence of what it was like to be human on this earth." Through the most ordinary images and details, Kunitz aims to make experience emblematic, "to convert life into legend." He reads "Open the Gates", "Father and Son", "The Portrait", and "An Old Cracked Tune". Orr sees the latter two as companion pieces, revealing the grim and the celebratory in Kunitz's work, while his passion for the natural world is heard in "The Snakes of September" and finally, "The Long Boat".

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