Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell

in Providence, Rhode Island, The United States
February 01, 1927


Kinnell studied at Princeton University, graduating in 1948. He later obtained a Master's degree from the University of Rochester.

As a young man, Kinnell served in the US Navy and traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East. His first volume of poetry, What a Kingdom It Was, was published in 1960.

Kinnell became very involved in the U.S. civil rights movement upon his return, joining CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) as a field worker and participating in a number of marches and other civil actions.

Kinnell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for Selected Poems (1980), a MacArthur Fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, the 1974 Shelley Prize of the Poetry Society of America, and the 1975 Medal of Merit from National I

Average rating: 4.18 · 7,137 ratings · 466 reviews · 39 distinct works · Similar authors
The Book of Nightmares

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A New Selected Poems

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Selected Poems

4.23 avg rating — 315 ratings — published 1980 — 7 editions
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Strong is Your Hold

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When One Has Lived a Long T...

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Imperfect Thirst

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Three Books: Body Rags; Mor...

4.28 avg rating — 94 ratings — published 1993 — 3 editions
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Mortal Acts Mortal Words

4.28 avg rating — 94 ratings — published 1980 — 3 editions
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Body Rags

4.17 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 1968
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The Avenue Bearing the Init...

3.99 avg rating — 79 ratings — published 1974 — 2 editions
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“Let our scars fall in love.”
Galway Kinnell


Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.”
Galway Kinnell

“Sometimes it is necessary
To reteach a thing its loveliness”
Galway Kinnell

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