Summer 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2011 |

My Lawrence

The future, rain in every syllable and cell, comes home later and later, until it's half past morning and time to go to work all over again. David Herbert Lawrence's collier father working his way toward death in little pieces—I could see him in the book as I could hear my own breaking into the house in the dead middle of the night. Work requires a ton and then a lump of coal to build up fires like a setting sun you look at and call nature, beautiful furnace fires that turn back flesh to smoke and ash, back to the drift and ghost it comes from. Read everything, the English teachers said—I read Lawrence first at a big oak dining table in a Quaker reading room, though not, I think, the novels but something more like Studies in Classic American Literature, literature abridged sometimes for children, which Lawrence takes seriously: Irving's bowling Dutchmen, Cooper's noble savages, Poe's still-living dead, Melville's South Sea natives and God in a white whale's he

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Stanley Plumly’s most recent book of poems is Orphan Hours (W.W. Norton, 2012). His collection Old Heart won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2015, his book of prose The Immortal Evening won the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2010 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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The future, rain in every syllable and cell, comes home later and later, until it's half past morning and time to go to work all over again. David Herbert Lawrence's […]

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