In this Book

Against the Evidence
summary
For over half a century, David Ignatow has crafted spare, plain, haunting poetry pf working life, urban images, and dark humor. The poetic heir of Whitman and William Carlos Williams, Ignatow is characteristically concerned with human mortality and human alienation in the world: the world as it is, defined by suffering and despair, yet at crucial times redeemed by cosmic vision and shared lives. His development as a poet is chronicled in Against the Evidence, title of the poem in part quoted above and meant by Ignatow as the metaphor for the whole body of his work.

Where his previous collections have been organized thematically, Ignatow here arranges his poems "according to the decade in which they were written...returning each to its chronological order." Against the Evidence charts the evolution of his themes from the earliest origin in the Thirties to their present extraordinary manifestation in a variety of poetic forms and modes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-xiv
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xv-xvii
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  1. I. Poems of the 1930s
  2. p. 1
  1. Adolescence
  2. p. 3
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  1. The Folk Singer
  2. p. 3
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  1. For a Friend
  2. p. 4
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  1. Neighbors
  2. p. 4
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  1. For My Mother III
  2. p. 5
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  1. II. Poems of the 1940s
  2. p. 7
  1. Birthday
  2. p. 9
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  1. The Murderer
  2. p. 9
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  1. Consolation
  2. p. 9
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  1. Money and Grass
  2. p. 10
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  1. The White Ceiling
  2. p. 11
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  1. A Working Principle
  2. p. 12
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  1. Subway
  2. p. 12
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  1. Crowding
  2. p. 12
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  1. Premonitions
  2. p. 13
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  1. Statement for the Times
  2. p. 14
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  1. Peace for Awhile
  2. p. 15
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  1. Poem
  2. p. 15
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  1. Harold
  2. p. 15
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  1. Europe and America
  2. p. 16
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  1. Nurse
  2. p. 17
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  1. Get the Gasworks
  2. p. 18
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  1. Come!
  2. p. 18
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  1. East Side West
  2. p. 19
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  1. III. Poems of the 1950s
  2. p. 21
  1. Old
  2. p. 23
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  1. An Ecology
  2. p. 23
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  1. Communion I
  2. p. 23
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  1. How Else
  2. p. 24
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  1. At Four O'clock
  2. p. 24
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  1. Communion II
  2. p. 25
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  1. The Outlaw
  2. p. 25
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  1. Pricing
  2. p. 26
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  1. Business
  2. p. 27
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  1. Adonis
  2. p. 27
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  1. The Rockets
  2. p. 27
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  1. In the Woods
  2. p. 28
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  1. The Taste
  2. p. 28
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  1. Reading at Night
  2. p. 28
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  1. In Ancient Times
  2. p. 29
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  1. Mystique
  2. p. 30
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  1. Bothering Me at Last
  2. p. 30
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  1. Promenade
  2. p. 30
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  1. News Report
  2. p. 31
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  1. Dilemma
  2. p. 32
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  1. Oedipus Reformed
  2. p. 32
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  1. The Gentle Weight Lifter
  2. p. 33
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  1. The Fisherwoman
  2. p. 33
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  1. Moving Picture
  2. p. 34
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  1. An Illusion
  2. p. 34
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  1. The Debate
  2. p. 35
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  1. For All Friends
  2. p. 36
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  1. Simulacrum
  2. p. 36
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  1. The Reward
  2. p. 36
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  1. I Have Spoken
  2. p. 37
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  1. A Reply
  2. p. 37
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  1. IV. Poems of the 1960s
  2. p. 39
  1. How Come?
  2. p. 41
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  1. The Errand Boy I
  2. p. 42
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  1. The Dream
  2. p. 42
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  1. Say Pardon
  2. p. 42
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  1. In Limbo
  2. p. 43
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  1. Sunday at the State Hospital
  2. p. 43
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  1. Walt Whitman in the Civil War Hospitals
  2. p. 44
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  1. Be Like Me
  2. p. 44
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  1. And Step
  2. p. 44
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  1. Content
  2. p. 45
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  1. Blessing Myself
  2. p. 45
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  1. Whistle or Hoot
  2. p. 45
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  1. This Is Mortal
  2. p. 46
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  1. A Semblance
  2. p. 46
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  1. The Rightful One
  2. p. 46
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  1. Self-Centered
  2. p. 47
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  1. The Complex
  2. p. 47
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  1. The Journey
  2. p. 48
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  1. A Loose Gown
  2. p. 49
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  1. Leaping from Ambush
  2. p. 49
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  1. Love Poem for the Forty-Second Street Library
  2. p. 49
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  1. Where Nothing Is Hidden
  2. p. 50
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  1. Off to the Cemetery
  2. p. 51
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  1. A First on TV
  2. p. 52
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  1. For My Daughter
  2. p. 53
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  1. My Place
  2. p. 53
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  1. I Sleep
  2. p. 54
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  1. To an Apple
  2. p. 54
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  1. And That Night
  2. p. 55
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  1. Play Again
  2. p. 55
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  1. Earth Hard
  2. p. 56
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  1. The Years of Loss
  2. p. 56
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  1. In a Dream I
  2. p. 56
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  1. Figures of the Human
  2. p. 57
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  1. And the Same Words
  2. p. 57
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  1. The Sky Is Blue
  2. p. 58
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  1. The Song
  2. p. 58
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  1. Two Friends
  2. p. 58
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  1. No Theory
  2. p. 59
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  1. For One Moment
  2. p. 59
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  1. About Money
  2. p. 60
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  1. Simultaneously
  2. p. 60
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  1. Prologue
  2. p. 61
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  1. Epitaph
  2. p. 61
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  1. Self-Employed
  2. p. 62
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  1. Envoi
  2. p. 63
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  1. The Bagel
  2. p. 63
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  1. Rescue the Dead
  2. p. 63
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  1. Notes for a Lecture
  2. p. 64
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  1. Sediment
  2. p. 65
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  1. For Your Fear
  2. p. 65
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  1. Ritual One
  2. p. 66
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  1. From a Dream
  2. p. 67
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  1. East Bronx
  2. p. 68
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  1. I See a Truck
  2. p. 68
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  1. All Quiet
  2. p. 69
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  1. For Medgar Even
  2. p. 69
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  1. On the Death of Winston Churchill
  2. p. 70
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  1. The Signal
  2. p. 70
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  1. Against the Evidence
  2. p. 70
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  1. An Omen
  2. p. 71
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  1. An Ontology
  2. p. 72
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  1. Three in Transition
  2. p. 72
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  1. For My Daughter in Reply to a Question
  2. p. 73
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  1. The Hope
  2. p. 74
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  1. Walk There
  2. p. 74
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  1. Briefcases
  2. p. 75
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  1. First Coffin Poem
  2. p. 76
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  1. While I Live
  2. p. 77
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  1. V. Poems of the 1970s
  2. p. 81
  1. Invocation
  2. p. 82
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  1. Reading the Headlines
  2. p. 82
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  1. My Enemies
  2. p. 82
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  1. The Diner
  2. p. 83
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  1. Information
  2. p. 84
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  1. Talking to Myself
  2. p. 84
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  1. The Weather
  2. p. 85
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  1. My Poetry Is for the Night
  2. p. 85
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  1. He Moves
  2. p. 86
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  1. Each Day
  2. p. 87
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  1. A Moral Tale
  2. p. 88
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  1. Once There Was a Woman Smiled at Me
  2. p. 89
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  1. At This Moment
  2. p. 89
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  1. Peace
  2. p. 89
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  1. The Refuse Man
  2. p. 90
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  1. With My Back
  2. p. 90
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  1. The Future
  2. p. 91
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  1. Autumn II
  2. p. 91
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  1. For John Berryman
  2. p. 92
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  1. Prose Poem in Six Parts
  2. pp. 92-94
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  1. I Shake My Fist at a Tree
  2. p. 95
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  1. Going Down
  2. p. 95
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  1. Melpomene in Manhattan
  2. p. 96
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  1. Their Mouths Full
  2. p. 96
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  1. In a Dream
  2. p. 97
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  1. Thinking
  2. p. 98
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  1. With Others
  2. p. 98
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  1. Brightness as a Poignant Light
  2. p. 99
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  1. From the Observatory
  2. p. 99
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  1. The Seasons
  2. p. 100
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  1. With the Sun's Fire
  2. p. 100
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  1. Examine me, I am continuous
  2. p. 100
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  1. The Two Selves
  2. p. 101
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  1. The Juggler
  2. p. 101
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  1. Scenario
  2. p. 102
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  1. Paint a Wall
  2. p. 102
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  1. An Account in the Present Tenseof How It All Happened
  2. p. 103
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  1. Midnight
  2. p. 104
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  1. Blue
  2. p. 104
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  1. Scissors
  2. p. 105
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  1. Apocrypha
  2. p. 105
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  1. Death of a Lawn Mower
  2. p. 106
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  1. Who Could Have Believed It?
  2. p. 106
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  1. The Life They Lead
  2. p. 106
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  1. The Question
  2. p. 107
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  1. I Sink Back Upon the Ground, Expecting to Die
  2. p. 107
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  1. The Vase
  2. p. 108
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  1. The Metamorphosis
  2. p. 108
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  1. Hair
  2. p. 109
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  1. I Live Admiring the Sky
  2. p. 110
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  1. I Am Brother
  2. p. 110
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  1. I Want to Be Buried
  2. p. 110
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  1. In This Dream I Do Not Exist
  2. p. 111
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  1. Lightly
  2. p. 111
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  1. I'm a Depressed Poem
  2. p. 112
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  1. Hello
  2. p. 112
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  1. Finally
  2. p. 113
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  1. Epilogue
  2. p. 114
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  1. Inside Me Is the Peace of an Egg
  2. p. 115
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  1. VI. Poems of the 1980s
  2. p. 117
  1. My Own House
  2. p. 119
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  1. Behind His Eyes
  2. p. 119
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  1. A Cloud Creates
  2. p. 120
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  1. To Oneself
  2. p. 120
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  1. In No Way
  2. p. 121
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  1. Tomorrow
  2. p. 121
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  1. In the Garden
  2. p. 121
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  1. Of That Fire
  2. p. 122
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  1. I Dream
  2. p. 122
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  1. Each Stone
  2. p. 123
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  1. For Yaedi
  2. p. 123
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  1. / Identify
  2. p. 123
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  1. One Leaf
  2. p. 124
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  1. I Am
  2. p. 125
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  1. A Modern Fable
  2. p. 125
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  1. A Requiem
  2. p. 125
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  1. 1905
  2. p. 126
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  1. Kaddish
  2. p. 127
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  1. The Ship
  2. p. 127
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  1. The Bread Itself
  2. p. 128
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  1. Father and Son
  2. p. 128
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  1. Above Everything
  2. p. 129
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  1. Thus Truly
  2. p. 129
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  1. Between Shade and Sun
  2. p. 130
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  1. A Discussion
  2. p. 131
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  1. On Freedom
  2. p. 133
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  1. Now I Hear
  2. p. 134
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  1. / Saw a Leaf
  2. p. 134
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  1. With Horace
  2. p. 134
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  1. From the Beginning
  2. p. 135
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  1. Here in Bed
  2. p. 136
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  1. I No Longer Want
  2. p. 137
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  1. Stranger
  2. p. 137
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  1. Whatever Contribution
  2. p. 138
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  1. Stability
  2. p. 138
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  1. The Violence
  2. p. 138
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  1. The Bird
  2. p. 139
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  1. For Now
  2. p. 140
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  1. Two
  2. p. 140
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  1. The Need
  2. p. 140
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  1. Night
  2. p. 141
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  1. The Men You 've Loved
  2. p. 141
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  1. Coupling
  2. p. 141
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  1. Across the Room
  2. p. 142
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  1. Everyone
  2. p. 142
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  1. Meeting
  2. p. 143
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  1. Lost Childhood
  2. p. 144
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  1. I Wish a God Were Possible
  2. p. 144
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  1. I've wanted to write my way into paradise
  2. p. 145
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  1. Without Recrimination
  2. p. 145
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  1. In Dream
  2. p. 146
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  1. Concrete
  2. p. 146
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  1. It IS
  2. p. 147
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  1. The Principle
  2. p. 147
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  1. The Separate Dead
  2. p. 148
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  1. In My Childhood
  2. p. 148
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  1. Wait
  2. p. 149
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  1. I Write
  2. p. 149
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  1. Trough
  2. p. 149
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  1. The Interview II
  2. p. 150
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  1. The Image
  2. p. 151
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  1. VII. Poems of the 1990s
  2. p. 153
  1. The World
  2. p. 155
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  1. The Sunlight, Piercing the Gloom of this House
  2. p. 155
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  1. Sometimes I Think I've Lived Too Long
  2. p. 155
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  1. This Is the Solution
  2. p. 156
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  1. Here I Am with Mike
  2. p. 156
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  1. I Killed a Fly
  2. p. 156
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  1. Buzz
  2. p. 156
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  1. Permanence
  2. p. 157
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  1. 157In Me
  2. p. 157
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  1. Here I Am
  2. p. 157
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  1. To Stay Alive
  2. p. 158
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  1. His Name
  2. p. 158
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  1. Shadowing the Ground
  2. p. 158
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  1. The Fish That Lives at the Bottom
  2. p. 159
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  1. White-Haired, I Walk in on My Parents
  2. p. 159
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  1. And Rest
  2. p. 160
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  1. Father
  2. p. 160
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  1. Sky
  2. p. 160
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  1. Separate Rooms
  2. p. 161
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  1. Knowledge
  2. p. 161
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  1. If We Could Be Brought
  2. p. 162
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  1. A Leaf
  2. p. 162
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  1. Close My Eyes
  2. p. 162
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  1. Blessing
  2. p. 163
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  1. Longing
  2. p. 163
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  1. Forever
  2. p. 163
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  1. That's the Sum of It
  2. p. 163
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  1. God's
  2. p. 164
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  1. I Live with My Contradictions
  2. p. 164
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  1. Despite the Plainness of the Day
  2. p. 165
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  1. Orgasm
  2. p. 165
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  1. Opening Paths
  2. p. 166
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  1. See
  2. p. 166
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  1. You
  2. p. 167
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  1. My Love for You
  2. p. 167
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  1. Each of Us
  2. p. 167
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  1. Now
  2. p. 168
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  1. Blood
  2. p. 169
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  1. I Dream I Hurl a Spear
  2. p. 169
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  1. Midnight II
  2. p. 170
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  1. Shapely
  2. p. 170
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  1. It's Not You I Miss
  2. p. 170
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  1. The Love We Had
  2. p. 171
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  1. Without Sexual Attraction
  2. p. 171
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  1. The Puzzle
  2. p. 172
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  1. The Life
  2. p. 172
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  1. Index of Titles
  2. pp. 173-178
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  1. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  2. p. 179
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