Maud, in Memoriam

(Richard Howard’s pug)

Dogsbody in your case a plump, trig, four-
Square frame, upholstered in ash-white fur,
Plus short, splay trotters, teetertottering
Out Master’s door to meet whoever rang.

Which would sometimes be me, at whom you’d gaze,
Lodging your claim, “I too am one of the guys,”
Your thumbprint of a face deep-runneled like
A walnut, pug nose that, when dry, you’d lick.

Often my hand as well, though not for long.
Cozier prospects beckoned, like beetling
To your warm corner on the leather sofa for
A snooze…. From which you now won’t—. It’s not fair.

And the dark memento left us mourners, Maud?
That we—yes, all of us, the mild, the mad,
The young, the old, the ill—ourselves one day
Must follow suit and just what you did do.

Imagination’s sill once reached, though, a door
Springs open to reveal, as spirits soar,
You! Curled tail athrob, pink tongue thrust out,
Maud! beyond loss, grief, vacancy or doubt.

Alfred Corn

Alfred Corn

Alfred Corn is the author of eleven books of poems, the most recent titled Unions (2015) and two novels, the second titled Miranda’s Book, which also appeared in 2015. His two collections of essays are The Metamorphoses of Metaphor and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007. He has received the Guggenheim, the NEA, an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at Yale, Columbia, Connecticut College, The University of Cincinnati, and UCLA. In 2013 he was made a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 2015 he was guest speaker at the new museum in Wuzhen, China, dedicated to the work of the painter and writer Mu Xin. In the spring of 2016 Chamán Ediciones in Spain published Rocinante, a selection of his work translated in Spanish, the same translation appearing the following year in Mexico under the title Antonio en el desierto. A new collection of essays titled Arks & Covenants appeared in May of 2017. In October of 2016, Roads Taken, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Alfred Corn’s first book All Roads at Once was held at Poets’ House in New York City, and in November 2017 he was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame.

Last year W.W. Norton brought out his translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies, and this spring a volume of selected poems appeared with Press 53 under the title The Returns.
Alfred Corn

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Author: Alfred Corn

Alfred Corn is the author of eleven books of poems, the most recent titled Unions (2015) and two novels, the second titled Miranda’s Book, which also appeared in 2015. His two collections of essays are The Metamorphoses of Metaphor and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007. He has received the Guggenheim, the NEA, an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at Yale, Columbia, Connecticut College, The University of Cincinnati, and UCLA. In 2013 he was made a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 2015 he was guest speaker at the new museum in Wuzhen, China, dedicated to the work of the painter and writer Mu Xin. In the spring of 2016 Chamán Ediciones in Spain published Rocinante, a selection of his work translated in Spanish, the same translation appearing the following year in Mexico under the title Antonio en el desierto. A new collection of essays titled Arks & Covenants appeared in May of 2017. In October of 2016, Roads Taken, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Alfred Corn’s first book All Roads at Once was held at Poets’ House in New York City, and in November 2017 he was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame. Last year W.W. Norton brought out his translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies, and this spring a volume of selected poems appeared with Press 53 under the title The Returns.