Kenneth Koch

(27 February 1925 – 6 July 2002 / Ohio / United States)

A Momentary Longing To Hear Sad Advice From One Long Dead


Who was my teacher at Harvard. Did not wear overcoat
Saying to me as we walked across the Yard
Cold brittle autumn is you should be wearing overcoat. I said
You are not wearing overcoat. He said,
You should do as I say not do as I do.
Just how American it was and how late Forties it was
Delmore, but not I, was probably aware. He quoted Finnegans Wake to me
In his New York apartment sitting on chair
Table directly in front of him. There did he write? I am wondering.
Look at this photograph said of his mother and father.
Coney Island. Do they look happy? He couldn't figure it out.
Believed Pogo to be at the limits of our culture.
Pogo. Walt Kelly must have read Joyce Delmore said.
Why don't you ask him?
Why don't you ask Walt Kelly if he read Finnegans Wake or not.
Your parents don't look happy but it is just a photograph.
Maybe they felt awkward posing for photographs.
Maybe it is just a bad photograph. Delmore is not listening
I want to hear him tell me something sad but however true.
Delmore in his tomb is sitting. People say yes everyone is dying
But here read this happy book on the subject. Not Delmore. Not that rueful man.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Form:


Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Momentary Longing To Hear Sad Advice From One Long Dead by Kenneth Koch )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Walking In Clouds, Juan Olivarez
  2. Of Ancestors From Long Ago, Spiritwind Wood
  3. If I Told You, Spiritwind Wood
  4. WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME, FATHER?, john chizoba vincent
  5. Whipoorwill, Kyle Schlicher
  6. Turning Over Rocks, Kyle Schlicher
  7. I am Native American, Spiritwind Wood
  8. Now I Can See, Kyle Schlicher
  9. Behind My Pain, Spiritwind Wood
  10. The History Will Hide…, Rajesh Thankappan
[Hata Bildir]