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title

Against the Evidence

Selected Poems, 1934-1994

David Ignatow

Publication Year: 1993

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.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iv

Contents

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pp. v-xiv

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvii

The reader of Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934–1994 will discover that, unlike the arrangement of poems in the separate volumes according to theme—as in Rescue the Dead and in books of the seventies, Facing the Tree being the first of these—in the present volume I have brought poems together according to the decade in which they were written. My practice, in gathering poems to complete or advance...

I. Poems of the 1930s

Adolescence

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pp. 3

The Folk Singer

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pp. 3

For a Friend

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pp. 4

Neighbors

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pp. 4

For My Mother III

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pp. 5

II. Poems of the 1940s

Birthday

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pp. 9

The Murderer

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pp. 9

Consolation

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pp. 9

Money and Grass

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pp. 10

The White Ceiling

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pp. 11

A Working Principle

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pp. 12

Subway

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pp. 12

Crowding

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pp. 12

Premonitions

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pp. 13

Statement for the Times

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pp. 14

Peace for Awhile

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pp. 15

Harold

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pp. 15

Europe and America

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pp. 16

Nurse

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pp. 17

Get the Gasworks

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pp. 18

Come!

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pp. 18

East Side West

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pp. 19

III. Poems of the 1950s

An Ecology

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pp. 23

Communion I

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pp. 23

How Else

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pp. 24

At Four O'clock

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pp. 24

Communion II

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pp. 25

The Outlaw

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pp. 25

Pricing

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pp. 26

Business

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pp. 27

Adonis

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pp. 27

The Rockets

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pp. 27

In the Woods

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pp. 28

The Taste

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pp. 28

Reading at Night

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pp. 28

In Ancient Times

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pp. 29

Mystique

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pp. 30

Bothering Me at Last

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pp. 30

Promenade

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pp. 30

News Report

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pp. 31

Dilemma

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pp. 32

Oedipus Reformed

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pp. 32

The Gentle Weight Lifter

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pp. 33

The Fisherwoman

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pp. 33

Moving Picture

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pp. 34

An Illusion

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pp. 34

The Debate

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pp. 35

For All Friends

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pp. 36

Simulacrum

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pp. 36

The Reward

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pp. 36

I Have Spoken

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pp. 37

A Reply

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pp. 37

IV. Poems of the 1960s

How Come?

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pp. 41

The Errand Boy I

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pp. 42

The Dream

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pp. 42

Say Pardon

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pp. 42

In Limbo

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pp. 43

Sunday at the State Hospital

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pp. 43

Walt Whitman in the Civil War Hospitals

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pp. 44

Be Like Me

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pp. 44

And Step

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pp. 44

Content

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pp. 45

Blessing Myself

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pp. 45

Whistle or Hoot

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pp. 45

This Is Mortal

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pp. 46

A Semblance

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pp. 46

The Rightful One

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pp. 46

Self-Centered

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pp. 47

The Complex

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pp. 47

The Journey

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pp. 48

A Loose Gown

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pp. 49

Leaping from Ambush

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pp. 49

Love Poem for the Forty-Second Street Library

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pp. 49

Where Nothing Is Hidden

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pp. 50

Off to the Cemetery

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pp. 51

A First on TV

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pp. 52

For My Daughter

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pp. 53

My Place

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pp. 53

I Sleep

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pp. 54

To an Apple

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pp. 54

And That Night

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pp. 55

Play Again

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pp. 55

Earth Hard

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pp. 56

The Years of Loss

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pp. 56

In a Dream I

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pp. 56

Figures of the Human

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pp. 57

And the Same Words

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pp. 57

The Sky Is Blue

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pp. 58

The Song

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pp. 58

Two Friends

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pp. 58

No Theory

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pp. 59

For One Moment

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pp. 59

About Money

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pp. 60

Simultaneously

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pp. 60

Prologue

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pp. 61

Epitaph

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pp. 61

Self-Employed

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pp. 62

Envoi

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pp. 63

The Bagel

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pp. 63

Rescue the Dead

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pp. 63

Notes for a Lecture

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pp. 64

Sediment

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pp. 65

For Your Fear

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pp. 65

Ritual One

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pp. 66

From a Dream

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pp. 67

East Bronx

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pp. 68

I See a Truck

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pp. 68

All Quiet

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pp. 69

For Medgar Even

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pp. 69

On the Death of Winston Churchill

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pp. 70

The Signal

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pp. 70

Against the Evidence

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pp. 70

An Omen

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pp. 71

An Ontology

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pp. 72

Three in Transition

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pp. 72

For My Daughter in Reply to a Question

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pp. 73

The Hope

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pp. 74

Walk There

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pp. 74

Briefcases

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pp. 75

First Coffin Poem

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pp. 76

While I Live

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pp. 77

V. Poems of the 1970s

Invocation

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pp. 82

Reading the Headlines

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pp. 82

My Enemies

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pp. 82

The Diner

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pp. 83

Information

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pp. 84

Talking to Myself

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pp. 84

The Weather

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pp. 85

My Poetry Is for the Night

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pp. 85

He Moves

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pp. 86

Each Day

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pp. 87

A Moral Tale

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pp. 88

Once There Was a Woman Smiled at Me

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pp. 89

At This Moment

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pp. 89

Peace

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pp. 89

The Refuse Man

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pp. 90

With My Back

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pp. 90

The Future

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pp. 91

Autumn II

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pp. 91

For John Berryman

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pp. 92

Prose Poem in Six Parts

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pp. 92-94

I Shake My Fist at a Tree

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pp. 95

Going Down

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pp. 95

Melpomene in Manhattan

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pp. 96

Their Mouths Full

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pp. 96

In a Dream

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pp. 97

Thinking

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pp. 98

With Others

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pp. 98

Brightness as a Poignant Light

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pp. 99

From the Observatory

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pp. 99

The Seasons

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pp. 100

With the Sun's Fire

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pp. 100

Examine me, I am continuous

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pp. 100

The Two Selves

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pp. 101

The Juggler

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pp. 101

Scenario

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pp. 102

Paint a Wall

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pp. 102

An Account in the Present Tenseof How It All Happened

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pp. 103

Midnight

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pp. 104

Blue

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pp. 104

Scissors

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pp. 105

Apocrypha

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pp. 105

Death of a Lawn Mower

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pp. 106

Who Could Have Believed It?

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pp. 106

The Life They Lead

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pp. 106

The Question

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pp. 107

I Sink Back Upon the Ground, Expecting to Die

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pp. 107

The Vase

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pp. 108

The Metamorphosis

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pp. 108

Hair

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pp. 109

I Live Admiring the Sky

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pp. 110

I Am Brother

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pp. 110

I Want to Be Buried

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pp. 110

In This Dream I Do Not Exist

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pp. 111

Lightly

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pp. 111

I'm a Depressed Poem

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pp. 112

Hello

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pp. 112

Finally

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pp. 113

Epilogue

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pp. 114

Inside Me Is the Peace of an Egg

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pp. 115

VI. Poems of the 1980s

My Own House

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pp. 119

Behind His Eyes

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pp. 119

A Cloud Creates

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pp. 120

To Oneself

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pp. 120

In No Way

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pp. 121

Tomorrow

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pp. 121

In the Garden

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pp. 121

Of That Fire

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pp. 122

I Dream

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pp. 122

Each Stone

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pp. 123

For Yaedi

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pp. 123

/ Identify

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pp. 123

One Leaf

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pp. 124

I Am

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pp. 125

A Modern Fable

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pp. 125

A Requiem

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pp. 125

1905

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pp. 126

Kaddish

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pp. 127

The Ship

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pp. 127

The Bread Itself

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pp. 128

Father and Son

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pp. 128

Above Everything

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pp. 129

Thus Truly

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pp. 129

Between Shade and Sun

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pp. 130

A Discussion

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pp. 131

On Freedom

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pp. 133

Now I Hear

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pp. 134

/ Saw a Leaf

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pp. 134

With Horace

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pp. 134

From the Beginning

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pp. 135

Here in Bed

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pp. 136

I No Longer Want

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pp. 137

Stranger

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pp. 137

Whatever Contribution

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pp. 138

Stability

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pp. 138

The Violence

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pp. 138

The Bird

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pp. 139

For Now

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pp. 140

The Need

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pp. 140

Night

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pp. 141

The Men You 've Loved

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pp. 141

Coupling

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pp. 141

Across the Room

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pp. 142

Everyone

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pp. 142

Meeting

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pp. 143

Lost Childhood

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pp. 144

I Wish a God Were Possible

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pp. 144

I've wanted to write my way into paradise

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pp. 145

Without Recrimination

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pp. 145

In Dream

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pp. 146

Concrete

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pp. 146

It IS

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pp. 147

The Principle

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pp. 147

The Separate Dead

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pp. 148

In My Childhood

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pp. 148

Wait

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pp. 149

I Write

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pp. 149

Trough

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pp. 149

The Interview II

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pp. 150

The Image

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pp. 151

VII. Poems of the 1990s

The World

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pp. 155

The Sunlight, Piercing the Gloom of this House

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pp. 155

Sometimes I Think I've Lived Too Long

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pp. 155

This Is the Solution

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pp. 156

Here I Am with Mike

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pp. 156

I Killed a Fly

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pp. 156

Buzz

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pp. 156

Permanence

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pp. 157

157In Me

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pp. 157

Here I Am

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pp. 157

To Stay Alive

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pp. 158

His Name

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pp. 158

Shadowing the Ground

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pp. 158

The Fish That Lives at the Bottom

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pp. 159

White-Haired, I Walk in on My Parents

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pp. 159

And Rest

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pp. 160

Father

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pp. 160

Separate Rooms

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pp. 161

Knowledge

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pp. 161

If We Could Be Brought

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pp. 162

A Leaf

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pp. 162

Close My Eyes

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pp. 162

Blessing

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pp. 163

Longing

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pp. 163

Forever

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pp. 163

That's the Sum of It

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pp. 163

God's

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pp. 164

I Live with My Contradictions

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pp. 164

Despite the Plainness of the Day

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pp. 165

Orgasm

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pp. 165

Opening Paths

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pp. 166

My Love for You

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pp. 167

Each of Us

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pp. 167

Blood

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pp. 169

I Dream I Hurl a Spear

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pp. 169

Midnight II

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pp. 170

Shapely

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pp. 170

It's Not You I Miss

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pp. 170

The Love We Had

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pp. 171

Without Sexual Attraction

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pp. 171

The Puzzle

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pp. 172

The Life

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pp. 172

Index of Titles

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pp. 173-178

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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pp. 179


E-ISBN-13: 9780819572585
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819522115

Page Count: 196
Publication Year: 1993