Poems, Lyrics and Death

There’s a rocking going on in the poetry blogosphere (hate that word!  Hate it! hate it!) that’s been caused by the unexpected and premature death of Reginald Shepherd, who was two weeks younger than me.  PFFA poets have made their comments — here, and here, and here, and in this thread on PFFA, here.  Like Rob, if it weren’t for the internet I may not have heard of him, but I may — he lived in Florida, and was a colleague of colleagues.  The thing is, unlike my fellow poets, I hadn’t read his poems till the day he died.

I had read his essays, had looked at his blog, had been moved by his prose.  Now that I read his poems, though, I’m struck by the lyrical nature of them.  Lyric poetry is something I have fought for some time, landing strangely in the world of narrative and dramatic verse, not terribly moved by the lyric efforts of most of my contemporaries.

I’m not sure but I think I may be changing my mind.  Will I be writing any lyrics in the near future?  Unlikely, though who can tell.  What goes on inside me is nobody’s business but mine, I’ve decided.  Let me give you fragments instead and shore them against my ruins.

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