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An Excerpt From 'Good Poems: American Places'

Paging through the unreadable work of various highly honored poets, one longs for a little humor and humanity, a little attention paid to their surroundings. Some grit, some spark, maybe an ode to the old hometown, to the marble majesty of Colburn-Hilliard Men's Clothing and the bounty of Benzian Furniture and Amidore's Appliances, the sweet solace of Shadick's Soda Fountain, and the old ladies trying on black slacks in Dedrick's Department Store, rather than a soliloquy on the astonishing brevity of life. Mortality is pretty much the same for everybody — The end comes too soon! Too soon! — and Shakespeare's sonnets set a high standard here, do they not? So one is grateful if the poet turns his/her attention to the astonishment that awaits on a particular fall day in Missoula, Mont. … Back to Article

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