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Saturday, March 23, 2019


by Penelope Scambly Schott

W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)Photograph by Tom Sewell / NYT / Redux via The New Yorker

The old men poets are dying
even the ones younger than my father
One by one they are leaving us
leaving their words on the page
their voices on tape
I have no recording anywhere
of my father’s voice
Not even on an answering machine
I can call and recall him over and over
but he will never answer again
Year by year and day by day
the old men poets are leaving us
they who were our fathers in poetry
before we women learned to appreciate
our mothers in poetry, bless them all

Penelope Scambly Schott, author of a novel and several books of poetry, was awarded four New Jersey arts fellowships before moving to Oregon, where her verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth received an Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Several of Penelope’s books and individual poems have won other prizes. Her individual poems have appeared in APR, Georgia Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere.