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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Preface to an Unwritten Text

(Reed Whittemore, poet laureate, 1964-1965
and 1984-1985)


Words of thanks and caution: to the many
Teachers, students, authors, friends, and loves
Whose words and writings made me, and who led me
From the errors that my work disproves;

And to the academic centers of complexity,
Without whose constant services my premises,
For better or for worse, were never scholarly;
And to my mother and my father and my nemesis,

I am grateful.
But all these I disjoin
From all that here is hateful.
The text that does not follow is my own.

~ Reed Whittemore, born 1919, American poet, biographer, and literary critic

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