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September 09, 2008


I was fortunate enough to come into possession of Mr. Flint's copy of the poet Agha Shahid Ali's book The Country Without a Post Office with an inscription from the poet to Mr. Flint from 1999:

"for Roland, from whom one learns the necessarily stubborn things, that "there are ways to live the life you haven't had,/ways to forgive the one you have."

The quote Ali inscribes is the opening from Flint's poem "What I Have Tried to Say to You," viewable with a remembrance by Grace Cavalieri here:

It seems uncanny that Ali died in December, at the end of the same year Flint did, both these wonderful poets taken from us much too soon.

Thanks so much for this excellent appreciation of Roland and his work. We met in the 70s---when Roland invited me and Michael Lally to read at Georgetown---but didn't become really good friends until maybe the last ten years of his life. And he was a great friend to have---generous and appreciative to a fault. I know a lot of people felt that way---I remember being astonished at the hundreds of mourners who showed up for his memorial service at Georgetown. You're right too about his work--it deserves continued attention. I wish he were still with us.

I knew Roland well. We were fraternity brothers at the University of North Dakota. He was such an enjoyable person, huge personality, kind, thoughtful, funny, a great talent, a very good teacher, (I understand his classes at Georgetown were always full) a great human being. We stayed in contact through the years. I was invited to be at the ceremony at UND when he received his Honorary Doctor degree. He was North Dakota's poet laureate for North Dakota. I am not a poetry person - -but I was captured by his poetry. Tom Wold

I agree Roland Flint is an undiscovered treasure! My Maryland poet friends to my surprise are not familiar with him. The treasure of Roland I have discovered going through the papers of my father, American composer Paul W Whear, is he and Roland were fast friends having met at the MacDowell Colony! The "Unicorn Publications" of Roland's "The Honey and other Poems for Rosalind" is my father's letterpress print shop in his basement where he hand typeset and letterpress printed this small book. My father also published a work for violin and orchestra "Poem of Roland", inspired by one of Roland's poems which is included in the preface of the piece. I have uncovered an affectionate correspondence between them. Roland still owes my father a pizza! Besides MacDowell they shared a love of poetry, a Marquette education, a wicked sense of humor, and a love of teaching.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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