Treasure Island

Richard Hugo

(1923 - 1982 / Washington / United States)

Quotations

  • ''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. (1984) W. W. Norton.
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  • ''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. (1984) W. W. Norton.
  • ''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 Hugo. (1984) W. W. Norton.
  • ''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. (1984) W. W. Norton.
  • ''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) W. W. Norton.
  • ''Rub a half potato on your wart
    and wrap it in a damp cloth. Close
    your eyes and whirl three times and throw.
    Then bury rag and spud exactly where they fall.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. The Way a Ghost Dissolves (l. 9-13). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo. (1984) W. W. Norton.
  • ''Or driven wild
    by snakes that kept the carrots clean,
    she butchered snakes and carrots with a hoe.''
    Richard Hugo (1923-1982), U.S. poet. The Way a Ghost Dissolves (l. 17-19). . . Making Certain It Goes On; the Collected Poems of Richard Hugo. (1984) W. W. Norton.

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Farmer, Dying

for Hank and Nancy

Seven thousand acres of grass have faded yellow
from his cough. These limp days, his anger,
legend forty years from moon to Stevensville,
lives on, just barely, in a Great Falls whore.
Cruel times, he cries, cruel winds. His geese roam
unattended in the meadow. The gold last leaves
of cottonwoods ride Burnt Fork creek away.

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