Lucien Stryk

(1924 - 2013 / Poland)

Lucien Stryk
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Lucien Stryk (April 7, 1924 - January 24, 2013) was an American poet, translator of Buddhist literature and Zen poetry, and former English professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU).
Stryk was born in Poland on April 7, 1924, and moved to Chicago aged four, where he spent the remainder of his childhood. He later served as a Forward Observer during WWII in the Pacific. On his return, he studied at Indiana University, and afterwards at the Sorbonne in Paris, London University, and the University of Iowa Writing Program.
From 1958 until his retirement in 1991 Lucien Stryk served on the Northern Illinois University English department faculty. In 1991 NIU awarded him an honorary ... more »

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Best Poem of Lucien Stryk


All right, let them play with it,
Let them feel all hot and righteous,
Permit them the savage joy of
Deploring my inhumanity,
And above all let them bury
Those hundred thousand once again:
And say this: if Captain X
Has been martyred by the poets,
Does that mean I have to weep
Over his 'moments of madness'?
If he dropped the bomb, and he did,
If I should sympathize, and I do
(I too have counted the corpses),
Has anyone created a plaint
For those who shot from that red sun
Of Nineteen Forty One? Or
Tried to rouse just one of those
Thousand ...

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