John Koethe

(1945 / San Diego)

John Koethe
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John Koethe was born on December 25, 1945 in San Diego, and received an A.B. from Princeton and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard.

He has published six books of poetry: “Blue Vents” (1968), “Domes” (1973), which received the Frank O'Hara Award, “The Late Wisconsin Spring” (1984), “Falling Water” (1997), which received the Kingsley Tufts Award, “The Constructor” (1999), which was a finalist for The New Yorker Book Award and the Lenore Marshall Award, and “North Point North: New and Selected Poems” (2002), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is also the author of “Poetry at One Remove: Essays” (2001) and “The Continuity of Wittgenstein's Thought” (1996). more »

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Best Poem of John Koethe

Creation Myths

Some have the grandeur of architecture,
The grandeur of the concert hall: the sentimental
Grandeur of an idea lying just beyond recall
In someone's imagination, compelled by an even
Greater music at its most monumental,
That begins with the explosion of a drum
In chaos and the dark, the twin wellsprings of a world
That slowly comes to lie before them—a natural
One, apparently designed for them alone,
That somehow lifts them in the end, a woman and a man,
To Paradise and the certainty of God.

It's lovely to believe—lovely, anyway, to hear.
The chaos is...

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