Paul Blackburn

(November 24, 1926 – September 13, 1971 / St. Albans, Vermont)

Paul Blackburn
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Paul Blackburn (November 24, 1926 – September 13, 1971) was an American poet. He influenced contemporary literature through his poetry, translations and the encouragement and support he offered to fellow poets.

Blackburn was born in St. Albans, Vermont. His parents, William Gordon Blackburn and Frances Frost (also a poet, novelist and author of children's books), separated when Blackburn was three and a half. Thereafter, he was cared for primarily by his maternal grandparents on their farm in St. Albans until he was fourteen, when his mother took him to New York City to live with her in Greenwich Village. He began writing poetry in his late teens under her ... more »

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Best Poem of Paul Blackburn

The Café Filtre

Slowly and with persistence
he eats away at the big steak,
gobbles up the asparagus, its
butter & salt & root taste,
drinks at a glass of red wine, and carefully
taking his time, mops up
the gravy with bread—
The top of the café filtre is
copper, passively shines back, & between
mouthfuls of steak, sips of wine,
he remembers
at intervals to
with the flat of his hand
the top removed,
bang
at the apparatus,
create the ...

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