Stanley Kunitz, may his name be for a blessing
He might as well have been from the old neighborhood, except he wouldn't have hung out on Goldberg's corner or at Mannie's, a Racing Form in his vest pocket. I don't think there was one poet where I lived, except for my father before I was born.
I don't often cry when poets die but I did this time. He was part of me in some strange tribal sense. I knew him all the while I never laid my eyes on his real live self. I knew the wrinkles in his skin and the tears that softened his eyes.
I knew when his heart broke and when it healed again. He was the kindness that walked our city blocks, the mind that evaded our avenue, the poem we couldn't find, the light that eluded us. I'll miss you kind Sir and am grateful for finding you once I left home.
Todah rabbah, Stanley Kunitz, todah rabbah.