As many of you know, Stanley Kunitz passed away on Sunday, May 14th.
This great quote got forwarded along:
When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you have to think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgement of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself. And I think the world tends to forget that this is the ultimate significance of the body of work each artist produces. It is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.
(from The Wild Braid, W.W. Norton, 2005)
What a wonderful sentiment. I remember quite clearly the day that Trish and I drove to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center for the first time. She drove the rental car in front of 6 Fish UP and we drove over some flowers. She said, "Oh no, we just ran over Stanley Kunitz's garden."
Of course we didn't, but I did pass it almost everyday walking to the breakwater.
I only met him once and I think so far, he was the only man I've ever been taller than (and I might be exaggerating as he was bent over.)
He will be greatly missed and what gratitude we must feel that we have his poems to remember him by.