Miller Williams: Birth of the Blues

January 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm (Uncategorized) ()

I’m not really that familiar with the work of Miller Williams, the poet who passed away on New Year’s Day. Of course, I’m a big fan of his daughter Lucinda (my daughter’s first concert was a performance by Lucinda a few months before she was actually born).

So, after I read about Williams’ death, I read a few. This is my favourite so far.


Birth of the Blues

John Keats never read Dylan Thomas or Yeats.
Dante didn’t know Shakespeare. Neither did Jesus.
I think of those I will never know, from countries
whose languages sound to me like mathematics,
that prince, for instance, who wrote in Siamese
in the seventeenth century, who could well have been
the best of all of us for all I know

I think about that poet born today
in Montreal whose verses will go with vessels
blown by the lights of stars to the curling edge.

I know he is there. Listen. This is the time.
Or she is. Lord. Lord. I feel like Herod.


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