William Matthews Poems
- Dire Cure "First, do no harm," the Hippocratic Oath begins, ...
- A Poetry Reading At West Point I read to the entire plebe ...
- No Return I like divorce. I love to compose letters of ...
- Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog Most of the time he worked, a sort of ...
- The Blues What did I think, a storm clutching a clarinet and...
- A Life Of Crime Frail friends, I love you all! Maybe that's...
- Job Interview Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife ...
an American poet and essayist.
Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Matthews earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, and a master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In addition to serving as a Writer-in-Residence at Boston's Emerson College, Matthews held various academic positions at institutions including Cornell University, the University of Washington (Seattle), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Iowa. He served as president of Associated Writing Programs and of the Poetry Society of America. At the time of his death he was a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at City College of New York ... more »
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"First, do no harm," the Hippocratic
Oath begins, but before she might enjoy
such balm, the docs had to harm her tumor.
It was large, rare, and so anomalous
in its behavior that at first they mis-
diagnosed it. "Your wife will die of it
within a year." But in ten days or so
I sat beside her bed with hot-and-sour
soup and heard an intern congratulate
her on her new diagnosis: a children's
cancer (doesn't that possessive break
your heart?) had possessed her. I couldn't stop
personifying it. Devious, dour,
it had a clouded heart, like Iago's.
It loved ...