Nov/Dec 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 6 Walking with Poets |

Unexpected Oracles

"What is the answer?" [Long silence.] "In that case, what is the question?"    —Gertrude Stein, July 27, 1946 "When I told him, he was like, 'Oh my God!' and I was like, 'Oh my God!"' • • "After he dug her up and removed her jewelry, we found him cutting her up into little pieces." • • "My dad works on the Constitution—you know, that boat." • • "How was Sweden?" "Adored it! They drove us everywhere—no umbrellas, no boots, no raincoats. When we got home I said, Dear, let's spend that Nobel money on our own limo." • • "Teaching history was like looking in a mirror and seeing nothing." • • "Today I felt so good, I tore up my Dead-to-Me list." • • "At her age, she would have died anyway'' • • "It's a luxury not knowing when you're going to die. I wish I had that luxury" • • "I define middle age as halfway between my age and death." • • "That's impossible! I haven't finished

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Lloyd Schwartz is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts–Boston. His poems have been selected for The Pushcart Prize, Best American Poetry, and Best of the Best American Poetry. His recent publications include the Library of America edition of Elizabeth Bishop and Music In—and On—the Air, a collection of his reviews for NPR’s Fresh Air. He is senior editor of classical music for the online journal New York Arts. In 1994, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

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