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Richard Hugo

(1923 - 1982 / Washington / United States)

Richard Hugo
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Richard Hugo (December 21, 1923 - October 22, 1982), born Richard Hogan, was an American poet. Primarily a regionalist, Hugo's work reflects the economic depression of the Northwest, particularly Montana. Born in White Center, Washington, he was raised by his mother's parents after his father left the family. In 1942 he legally changed his name to Richard Hugo, taking his stepfather's surname. He served in World War II as a bombardier in the Mediterranean. He left the service in 1945 after flying 35 combat missions and reaching the rank of first lieutenant.

Hugo received his B.A. in 1948 and his M.A. in 1952 in Creative Writing from the University of Washington where he studied ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Isn't this your life? That ancient kiss
    still burning out your eyes? Isn't this defeat
    so accurate, the church bell simply seems
    a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg (l. 23-26). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo...
  • ''You might come here Sunday on a whim.
    Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
    you had was years ago.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg (l. 1-3). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo. ...
  • ''Off south, the bison multiply so fast
    a slaughter's mandatory every spring
    and every spring the creeks get fat
    and Kicking Horse fills up.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir (l. 43-46). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard...
  • ''work until my heart is short,
    then go out slowly with a feeble grin,
    my fingers flexing but my eyes gone gray
    from cramps and the lack of oxygen.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. The Way a Ghost Dissolves (l. 25-28). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo. (19...
  • ''She planted corn and left the rest
    to elements, convinced that God
    with giant faucets regulates the rain
    and saves the crops from frost or foreign wind.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. The Way a Ghost Dissolves (l. 4-7). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo. (1984...
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