Excerpt from Last Words by Stephen Dunn


The following poem appears in our 2016 Print Issue 7. The entire issue is available for download in Kindle format.

For Allen Ginsberg

I suspect that most are banalities,
and the more touching for being so,
like Remember to feed the dog.
Or the incoherent products of drugs
and pain, better left unrepeated.
Or something childish,
something mumbled. Help me,
my brother said, and continued suffering
the anonymity of the not famous.
Last words belong to the famous,
and some, like Gertrude Stein’s
or Goethe’s, seem rehearsed –
so witty or so plaintively profound
we recite them as we might
great lines from their work.

Stephen DunnSTEPHEN DUNN is the author of sixteen books, including Different Hours, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Since 1974 he has taught at Richard Stockton College of NJ, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. He’s also been a Visiting Professor at The University of Washington, NYU, Columbia, and The University of Michigan. He has read his poetry at The Library of Congress, and at many universities and colleges throughout the country.
In addition to his books, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, The Georgia Review, and the American Poetry Review, to name just a few. http://www.stephendunnpoet.com/

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