A Poem has Secrets that the Poet Knows Nothing Of

“The deepest thing I know is that I am living and dying at once, and my conviction is to report that dialogue.”
— Kunitz

at Poetic Outlaws: Stanley Kunitz received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice (in 1959 and 2005). His works often explored the vital kinship between nature and the human experience. He had a profound awareness of the natural world and often used it as a metaphor for human emotions and the passage of time.

Kunitz’s poetry is steeped with images of loss and regeneration, aging and mortality, and a sense of grappling with the ultimate questions of spirituality and transcendence.

Before we get into Kunitz’s most notable poem, “King of the River,” I wanted to share with you what inspired him to write this profound piece. This poem explores the cyclical nature of life, the passage of time, the spiritual dimensions of an “upstream” struggle, and “the inexorable process” of his own fate. Below is a brief exchange Kunitz had with an interviewer who asked him how this brilliant poem came into being…

More here.