|Arts & Culture Archive|
Poet and veteran teacher Stanley Plumly continues his exploration of personal memories, juxtaposing his childhood with 74 years worth of knowledge and perspective on the world, in his latest collection, "Orphan Hours: Poems."
In addition to his writing, Plumly has been a professor of poetry for more than 50 years, teaching several generations of students at more than a dozen universities. He currently is the director of the creative writing program at University of Maryland, College Park.
Plumly's poems explore the natural world, familial relationships, politics, history. All are autobiographical. "Why not say what happened," Plumly said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour.
The phrase for the title of his latest collection came from poet Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Posthumous Poems":
Orphan Hours, the Year is dead,
In his poems, Plumly captures short moments in time with grandeur. On his birthday and wedding anniversary, he was enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the outer banks of Maryland when he saw a bluejay fly past, which became the image that inspired his poem "The Jay."
In white Adirondack chairs, on the wave-crest of a dune,
Naturally the sun is falling, which had risen in first
a thing before it happens, life in the future tense,
Reprinted from "Orphan Hours: Poems" by Stanley Plumly. Copyright © 2012 by Stanley Plumly. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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