Years ago, the Chicago Tribune introduced their readers to the life and poetry of Stanley Kunitz 2001 and 2002 poet laureate of the United States. His living words resonated within me like “The Word” that escorts my soul to a place of silence. There I am empowered to see and hear beyond the limitations of ego, intellect and reason. I remember thinking: ‘how can this poet know me, when I have difficulty knowing who I am beyond the roles and scripts I’ve played’ and the ones that have played me.?

For a brief moment, I felt unclothed, transparent and unafraid. Kuintz’s poem: “Touch Me” permeated through me like a blood transfusion. He put my feelings into words and yet his words silenced me long enough for me to discover what it means to breathe on my own. I wondered: ‘Who touched me, in this moment, to remind me to be the woman I am?

Muse That Awakens The Soul

Years later, when The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz literally fell on my foot at Barnes & Noble, I knew that this revered and gifted poet would accompany me on my long arduous journey home to myself beneath a cloud of unknowing. I purchased the book. We left the store together. Stanley Kunitz has been a muse and sojourner to me for the past ten years. I followed the last years of his life on the internet and marveled that he outlived the sting of death, The “sting of death”, without faith, is an immobilizing fear of death, also known as the fear of the unknown. Kunitz overcame.

“Dust, Remember Thou Art Splendor.”