Archive for July 3rd, 2013

by lizard

Weldon Kees disappeared on July 18th, 1955. An article in the New Yorker (2005) titled The Disappearing Poet opens with this:

It is almost half a century since San Francisco police found a 1954 Plymouth Savoy on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. On Tuesday, July 19, 1955, a highway patrol reported that the car, belonging to a Weldon Kees, had been discovered with the keys in the ignition. Two of Kees’s friends, Michael Grieg and Adrian Wilson, went to search the apartment of the missing man. There they found, among other things, his cat, Lonesome, and a pair of red socks in a sink. His wallet, watch, and sleeping bag were missing. So was his savings-account book, although the balance, which stood at more than eight hundred dollars, would remain that way. There was no suicide note.

Weldon Kees didn’t get a lot of attention from his peers or later scholars partly because he was more formal when all the cool kids were doing free verse. The tone of a Kees poem, though, is often the tone of a blistering cynic using his bitter poetic alchemy to transform the constraints of form into a formal vehicle of attack.

Take, for example, this villanelle by Weldon Kees (the first in a 5 poem cycle): Continue Reading »

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