Carver’s grief

Sunday, 2 August, 2015

In a New York Review of Books article, Thomas R. Edwards described the fictional world of Raymond Carver as a place where “people worry about whether their old cars will start, where unemployment or personal bankruptcy are present dangers.” The diagnosis of lung cancer inspired him to write verse and his poems are characterized by a reliance on storytelling and sentence sounds. Raymond Carver died on this day in 1988.


Woke up early this morning and from my bed
looked far across the Strait to see
a small boat moving through the choppy water,
a single running light on. Remembered
my friend who used to shout
his dead wife’s name from hilltops
around Perugia. Who set a plate
for her at his simple table long after
she was gone. And opened the windows
so she could have fresh air. Such display
I found embarrassing. So did his other
friends. I couldn’t see it.
Not until this morning.

Raymond Carver (25 May 1938 – 2 August 1988)

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