Luann Landon is the author of Dinner at Miss Lady's, a memoir-cookbook; and of South Bound, a collection of narrative poems. Her book of haiku, Spider Shallow Coral Bells, will be published in 2020. She lives in Sewanee, Tennessee.
We stood around the glassy pool at his apartment complex and his mother asked me what I was doing after graduation.
“I’m going to Yale,” I said.
She did a double take. “Good for you,” she said. Even back then my instability was clear to most.
“I went to Yale” is shorthand for I have schizoaffective disorder, but I’m not worthless.
The death of the poet Richard Wilbur was announced on Sunday, marking the end of a literary career that flourished over seven decades. Wilbur won every major award available to an American poet: the Ruth Lilly prize, a term as Poet Laureate, two Pulitzers, and Sewanee’s own Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, among many others. Wilbur’s insistence on form buttressed his confidence in the musical capability of language, producing a body of work that is deeply thought, deeply felt, and infinitely accessible.
For two days they followed the river, fording and refording it times without number, picking their way across it daintily where stones broke the surface, stumbling like mules through the current where circumstance left them no choice. The gorge grew wider and greener as the river descended and she passed the hours looking for songbirds along its banks, stopping and peering into the rushes whenever any movement caught her eye.