The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 17, 2008

Before I Was Nobody I Was Me

Here is the last of the poetry that I will post from Grace Paley's tribute by Poets House. This reader is one of my favorite poets, Galway Kinnell. He reads selections from Fidelity, Grace's posthumously published book, and her Collected Poems, mentioning in this introduction the reasoning behind his selections,

"These poems are a kind of history of her life just before she died,"

which is quite a wonderful way to describe going into the next world--still writing, still observing, still striving to make sense of your experiences.

I especially like listening to his take on the poem 'Here,' the last poem read in Kinnell's recording, particularly because it seems to come directly from the reader's own heart. Kinnell mentions that for the past year he has opened all of his readings with this poem, and you can hear in his voice the hours devoted to reading it aloud.

You can download the poems by clicking this, or stream them in the player below.

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