Biography of Allen Grossman
Allen Grossman (January 7, 1932 – June 27, 2014) was a noted American poet, critic and professor.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1932, Grossman was educated at Harvard University, graduating with an MA in 1956 after several interruptions. He went on to receive a PhD from Brandeis University in 1960, where he remained a professor until 1991. In 1991, he became the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University where until 2005 he taught in the English Department, primarily focusing on poetry and poetics. He continued to write after his retirement from teaching.
Grossman's first marriage ended in divorce; afterwards he married novelist Judith Grossman, and they stayed married until his death. His children are Jonathan Grossman and Adam Grossman from the first marriage, and Bathsheba Grossman, Austin Grossman, and Lev Grossman from the second.
On November 11, 2006, on the occasion of his retirement, several friends, colleagues, and students of Grossman held a joint reading in his honor. These included Michael Fried, Susan Howe, Ha Jin, Mark Halliday, Breyten Breytenbach, Susan Stewart and Frank Bidart. The event culminated with a reading by Grossman of poetry from his latest book of poems, Descartes' Loneliness.
Grossman died of complications from Alzheimer's at a nursing home in Chelsea, Mass. on June 27, 2014. He was 82.
Allen Grossman Poems
The Piano Player Explains Himself
When the corpse revived at the funeral, The outraged mourners killed it; and the soul Of the revenant passed into the body
A great light is the man who knows the woman he loves A great light is the woman who knows the man she loves
Toward evening, the natural light becomes Intelligent and answers, without demur: "Be assured! You are not alone. . . ."
Enough Rain For Agnes Walquist
It happened at midnight. - What I possessed and lost or what I never possessed and have nonetheless lost, or what in any case I was not born possessing but received from another's mouth:
At that time the sheep called to him From their wormy bellies, as they Lay bloating in the field. He was
Poland Of Death (Iv)
It is the duty of every man, And woman, to write the life of the mother. But the life of the father is written by The father alone. - Now he is of great size
The Life And Death Kisses
The chroniclers ceased, they ceased . . . until I arose - Out of the infinite unborn, one of the born who lived, And out of the number of all who have lived and died, One of those yet alive,
Place a man in the center, and he becomes The man who has prepared for a lifetime To answer, and now is ready.
The Ballad Of The Bone Boat
I dreamed I sailed alone In a long boat, a white bone; Like a strong thought, or a right name The sail had no seam.
Semper dum vivam tui meminero - Erasmus This is a poem for my old nurse Pat - Who had something wrong with her heart.
The Thrush Returns From The Waste And Vo...
O kid! I didn't understand. But now I get it. Forget their words! Look around for yourself. At a great distance, we heard something. First you said, "Do you hear that?" And I DID hear it.
The Caedmon Room
Upstairs, one floor below the Opera House on top of the building, was the Caedmon room - a library of sorts. The Caedmon room
4. White sales
Place a man in the center, and he becomes
The man who has prepared for a lifetime
To answer, and now is ready.
There are trees at the edge of the clearing,
More often a sea. He talks on and on.
And his voice is carried up by the thermals
At the sea's edge, or down among the dark