When Delese Wear invited me to judge the 2009 William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, I was shocked to learn that John Stone had died. Since we had never met, my relationship with him existed only in the intense connection between an author and devoted reader. But the news still seemed impossible: John Stone’s books occupy an important place on my shelves, and his poetry owns an even larger space in my inner world. Just one year earlier, I had read his “New and Selected Poems,” and, in tribute to his influence on my own work, I wrote this poem:
After Reading Music from Apartment 8
-for John Stone, M.D.
When I started out in medicine,
before I married and before
I had written a single poem,
I read your poetry like a hiker
on a treacherous trail who finally
stops to rest and drink and admire
the view of snow-capped peaks.
Three decades later I imagine you,
ten years younger than my father
would be if bad genes, bad luck, and bad
doctoring hadn’t killed him long ago.
Without a father...
Papaya Tree Creative Writing Burn Incense Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Poetic Imagination
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