Kenneth Patchen

(13 December 1911 - 8 January 1972 / Ohio)

Comments about Kenneth Patchen

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  • Michael Sjobeck (3/19/2019 9:55:00 PM)

    They point their noses
    At the Negro jerking in the tight noose;
    His feet spread crow-like above these
    Honorable men who laugh as he chokes.
    I don’t know this black man.
    I don’t know these white men.
    But I know that one of my hands
    Is black, and one white. I know that
    One part of me is being strangled,
    While another part horribly laughs.
    Until it changes,
    I shall be forever killing; and be killed.

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  • Michael Sjobeck (3/19/2019 9:54:00 PM)

    Nice Day for a Lynching

    The bloodhounds look like sad old judges
    In a strange court.

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  • Frank madden (8/31/2018 12:21:00 PM)

    Where is the line The truth is what they don't say from?

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  • Kalaiarasi Tiruvarur (4/16/2018 1:02:00 PM)

    What a wonderful observation about the deer we get love and emotion on nature

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  • Susan Kutner (8/23/2017 8:12:00 PM)

    Please help - years ago I read Patchen and there was one prose poem with no puncuation about The terrible white tiger that floats in the air and And oh my love I have nowhere at all to take thee that was heartbreaking and beautiful. Does anyone know the title of the book it was in?

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  • Bill Grace (6/3/2015 12:14:00 AM)

    The Deer and the Snake is a poem discovered as an undergraduate that has haunted me for close to fifty years such is its beauty and depth. Bill Grace It is here one click away.

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  • George Neidorf (12/29/2013 4:43:00 PM)

    I think that kenneth patchen's poems can be purchased from city lights bookstore in san Francisco.

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  • Karin Holloway (12/15/2013 8:07:00 AM)

    Aarrrgghhh! I had hoped to find Patchen's poem which had sledding in it- -no, not the light it's fun in the snow kind of poem but about human darkness. Tragedy, I think. Heck, I was only 13 or so when I found my then dead uncle's book of Patchen poems. And, Chad, I'm soooo sorry but I gave it away last year, nearly 50 years later. Lovely little book it was, too. I was having a life clear-out and wasn't thinking straight. I wasn't aware of Patchen's importance to my life and times- -the resistance to the Vietnam War and to stupid cultural values and mores. I thank him from this side of the big divide and wish him well, wherever he's translating reality now. Back to reading his poems. Oh, hello everyone!

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  • Christine Schuster (1/14/2013 1:07:00 PM)

    Hello everybody,
    I came across Kenneth Patchen only recently, through a poem of his read by Johnny Dowd on an album by Jackie Leven: The Skaters (the album title is 'Oh what a Blow that Phantom Dealt me') . I was intrigued and deeply moved by the poem itself and by the way it was performed and set to music. Unfortunately I don't understand all of it (I'm German) , so I'd be very happy if someone could post it here. It's in the book 'Still Another Pelican in the Breadbasket', which doesn't seem to be available here.

    Thanks a lot.
    Christine

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Best Poem of Kenneth Patchen

Fall Of The Evening Star

Speak softly; sun going down
Out of sight. Come near me now.

Dear dying fall of wings as birds
complain against the gathering dark...

Exaggerate the green blood in grass;
the music of leaves scraping space;

Multiply the stillness by one sound;
by one syllable of your name...

And all that is little is soon giant,
all that is rare grows in common beauty

To rest with my mouth on your mouth
as somewhere a star falls

And the earth takes it softly, in natural love...
Exactly as we take each other...
and go to sleep...

Read the full of Fall Of The Evening Star

Let Us Have Madness

Let us have madness openly.
O men Of my generation.
Let us follow
The footsteps of this slaughtered age:
See it trail across Time's dim land
Into the closed house of eternity
With the noise that dying has,
With the face that dead things wear--
nor ever say

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