Stanley Kunitz


Born
in Worcester, Massachusetts, The United States
July 29, 1905

Died
May 14, 2006


Stanley Jasspon Kunitz was an American poet. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress twice, first in 1974 and then again in 2000.

Average rating: 4.31 · 2,600 ratings · 239 reviews · 47 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Collected Poems

4.28 avg rating — 515 ratings — published 2000 — 3 editions
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The Wild Braid: A Poet Refl...

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4.48 avg rating — 420 ratings — published 2005 — 3 editions
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Passing Through: The Later ...

4.19 avg rating — 254 ratings — published 1995 — 7 editions
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The Poems, 1928-1978

4.17 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1979 — 2 editions
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Next-to-Last Things: New Po...

4.26 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 1985 — 2 editions
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Selected Poems, 1928-1958

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 1958
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Poems of John Keats

4.21 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1964
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The Testing Tree: Poems

3.93 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1971
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Interviews and Encounters

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4.41 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 1993 — 2 editions
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The Wellfleet Whale And Com...

3.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1983 — 3 editions
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More books by Stanley Kunitz…
“The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.”
Stanley Kunitz

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.”
Stanley Kunitz, The Collected Poems

“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.”
Stanley Kunitz

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