W. D. Snodgrass passed away this morning in the company of his family. He was 83.
On the fortunate (for me) occasions when I was privileged to work with him as an editor, he was the sweetest and most genial of men. His poem "For Hugues Cuenod--in His 100th Year," which first appeared in the February 2004 issue ofThe New Criterion, was selected by Paul Muldoon for The Best American Poetry 2005. (De, as he was known, appeared many times in the series.)
Another poem that De published in The New Criterion (June 2005), "Packing Up the Lute," ends:
And what’s left now I could still sing?
Go lie with lovenotes and snapshots. You
Were just too fine a vice to last.
Condemned to virtue, we thumb through
The evidence of our misspent past.
Much will be written and remembered about him in the coming days. He was an extraordinary poet, one of the greats.