Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Celebrating National Poetry Month ~ Thomas Lux

The Gentleman Who Spoke Like Music

- for Peter Davison, 1928-2004

who was kind to me
though he did not have to be.
Who brought into the world a thousand books.
(Right there: a life well lived.)
Who wrote a dozen or so himself,
some prose about others,
some his own poems.
(Right there: a life well lived.)
Who corrected my spelling, gently, and
my history too, who once
or twice a year
would buy me lunch
and later let me leave his office
with shopping bags of books to read.
Who wore a bowtie sometimes,
and a vest, I think even a hanky
in his jacket pocket.
Who was generous to me,
the gentleman who spoke like music, who
was kind to me
though he did not have to be.

from Thomas Lux's God Particles

2 comments:

wondermachine said...

Hi Dustin,
Thanks for posting this. I hadn't read it.
Interestingly I got into a deep Peter Davison kick about a year ago. This after picking up one of his books of poetry essays. I don't know what you know about him so forgive me if I'm stating the known, but he was the longtime poetry editor for the Atlantic and Atlantic books. So this is the reference to his publishing so many poets.
He also wrote a memoir of his youth/young adulthood as part of that 1950s generation around Cambridge. It's a pretty stunning book with some amazing passages about the great poets of that period. He was also attached to Sylvia Plath before she met Ted Hughes. Everybody's who was around there is mentioned and rather lovingly. Anyway, Minnesota put out a volume of his essays on poetry and I recall them being rather balanced and provoking. He got attacked some for being a bit staid at times. He was one of Frost's disciples so he comes out of that tradition, but I found the writing pretty interesting.
Anyway, the Lux poem is lovely. Thanks for reminding me of Davison.

Dustin said...

Dan, I only knew a little about Davison-- thank you for sharing!