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Poems

Robert Pinsky: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch]

Robert Pinsky   2019. Photo ©Eric Antoniou   web


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Pinsky, 2019. Photo ©Eric Antoniou.

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Poem with Lines in Any Order

 

Sonny said Then he shouldn’t have given Molly the two more babies.

Dave’s sister and her husband adopted the baby, and that was Babe.

You can’t live in the past.

Sure he was a tough guy but he was no hero.

Sonny and Toots went to live for a while with the Braegers.

It was a time when it seemed like everybody had a nickname.

Nobody can live in the future.

When Rose died having Babe, Dave came after the doctor with a gun.

Toots said What would you expect, he was a young man and there she was.

Sonny still a kid himself when Dave moved out on Molly.

The family gave him Rose’s cousin Molly to marry so she could raise the children.

There’s no way to just live in the present.

In their eighties Toots and Sonny still arguing about their father.

Dave living above the bar with Della and half the family.

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Robert Pinsky’s books include The Figured Wheel (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); his translation The Inferno of Dante; and his Princeton Tanner Lectures, Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry. He founded the Favorite Poem Project, with the videos here. His honors include the Korean Manhae Award and the Italian Premio Capri. He has appeared on The Simpsons and The Colbert Report. [For more information on, and poems by, Robert Pinsky, click here.]

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Pinsky triptych    

Robert Pinsky: “The gangster sexual style of my grandfather, Dave Pinsky, underlies this poem. I am the boy he is holding in the first photo. In the photo on the right, he is with his beautiful first wife Rose—as the poem tells, when she died after childbirth, he came after the doctor with a gun.”

 

 


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from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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