The Correspondence School Instructor Says Goodbye To His Poetry Students by Galway Kinnell
Goodbye, lady in Bangor, who sent me snapshots of yourself, after definitely hinting you were beautiful; goodbye, Miami Beach urologist, who enclosed plain brown envelopes for the return of your very Clinical Sonnet; goodbye, manufacturer of brassieres on the Coast, whose eclogues give the fullest treatment in literature yet to the sagging-breast motif; goodbye, you in San Quentin, who wrote, "Being German my hero is Hitler," instead of "Sincerely yours," at the end of long, neat-scripted letter demolishing the pre-Raphaelites:
I swear to you, it was just my way of cheering myself up, as I licked the stamped, self-addressed envelopes, the game I had of trying to guess which one of you, this time, had poisoned his glue. I did care. I did read each poem entire. I did say what I thought was the truth in the mildest words I know. And now, in this poem, or chopped prose, not any better, I realize, than those troubled lines I kept sending back to you, I have to say I am relieved it is over: at the end I could feel only pity for that urge toward more life your poems kept smothering in words, the smell of which, days later, would tingle in your nostrils as new, God-given impulses to write.
Goodbye, you who are, for me, the postmarks again of shattered towns-Xenia, Burnt Cabins, Hornell- their loneliness given away in poems, only their solitude kept.