Lindsay Lewis

English/ ESL consultant: Word worker, writer, teacher, mentor and poet. Author of This Won’t Hurt a Bit! on writing clear content.

Galway Kinnell: Have some of his poetry for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013

My students who know me are familiar with my piles of New Yorker magazines in the living room. These are sustenance for me. I have discovered several of my favourite writers whose poems have been published in the New Yorker. Yesterday, I was stunned and delighted to find Galway Kinnell’s piece ” The Silence of The World.” He tittilates the senses with his closely entwined phrases.

As he describes the moments we will miss if the world falls dumb, he describes ” No more splat when singer spits /mouthwash into the washbasin after the concert” and ” No more tooth that gnaws through gum and bones into the cathedral of the mouth.”

This second phrase for me encapsulates our very existence on earth-from birth to brittle death. His use of “cathedral” is stunning. I’ll never look at mouths the same way. I may have to tell my dentist about this phrase to make his life more exciting, so that he, too, can contemplate the wonders of our mouths.

I’ll be rushing out to order one of his collections. He is the Alice Monro of poetry. I only wish I had found his poetry earlier.

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