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A man with a white beard and half-glasses bent over his pen in his kitchen in an old chair whose fabric has been tattered by the cats. Well, I do not see how anyone can say the fundamental quality of life is not loneliness. Tu Fu, my Chinese uncle, wrote: "The processes of nature resemble the business of men. I stand alone with ten thousand sorrows." It makes so little difference how much we are in love. I remember when we visited Sylvan Beach on Lake Oneida, the little sandpipers, color of dirt, darting at the water's edge among sodden cigarette butts and trash. In the town were bad, truly bad, restaurants with broken signboards. How all resort towns on water are the same, we said. And the war was then in the old Near East--and still I am unable to write about it, blood flowing, the stink, screams, the unbelievably enormous concussions. I remember the same in almost every year of my life, about which I have written and written. All over the world old people stand in line, anxious and bitter, while the young gather in forlorn resentful gangs. My dear, we are in love. It's a fact, certifiable. It's a fact we set there among the others, having as much or as little significance as they, whichever.
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Author:Carruth, Hayden
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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