William Morris Meredith Jr.

(January 9, 1919 – May 30, 2007 / New York City)

William Morris Meredith Jr.
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an American poet and educator. He was Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1978 to 1980.

Biography

Early Years

Meredith was born in New York City to William Morris Meredith, Sr. and Nelley Keyser. He began writing while a college student at Princeton University where with his first volume of poetry Love Letter from an Impossible Land he was selected by Archibald MacLeish for publication as part of Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1940, writing a senior thesis on Robert Frost.

Career

He worked briefly for the New York Times before joining the United ... more »

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Best Poem of William Morris Meredith Jr.

Parents

What it must be like to be an angel
or a squirrel, we can imagine sooner.

The last time we go to bed good,
they are there, lying about darkness.

They dandle us once too often,
these friends who become our enemies.

Suddenly one day, their juniors
are as old as we yearn to be.

They get wrinkles where it is better
smooth, odd coughs, and smells.

It is grotesque how they go on
loving us, we go on loving them

The effrontery, barely imaginable,
of having caused us.And of how.

Their lives: surely
we can do better than ...

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