Monday, April 23, 2012

April is Poetry Month: Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver is one of America's great writers: fiction and poetry. He is one of the chroniclers of what a drinking life is like and a sober life. His stories have become movies, his poems, plays. Here is a poem he wrote near the end of his life.  This poem is called, "Gravy".

No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy.

Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and

being loved by a good woman. Eleven years

ago he was told he had six months to live

at the rate he was going. And he was going

nowhere but down. So he changed his ways

somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?

After that it was all gravy, every minute

of it, up to and including when he was told about,

well, some things that were breaking down and

building up inside his head. “Don’t weep for me,”

he said to his friends. “I’m a lucky man.

I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone

expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.”

Raymond Carver

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