The Secret Meeting with Mr. Eliot

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Dear Professor Wally,

This is not a poem about a cat. It is my life. I graduated from high school during the height (depth?) of the depression. Three students in my class went to college. Although I was valedictorian (Latin: valedictus, bidden goodbye) and spoke on “The Promise of the Future,” I was not one of them.

An Interview with Harry Crews

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I wanted very much to write the book [A Childhood], but wasn’t sure I could. It is first of all about people, many of whome are still alive, or their children are, and since I wanted to be true to that time and that place and that experience I put them in the book as they were. You and I know that most people don’t want to be set down as they are. They want to look better than they are. It’s a perfectly human thing, but you can’t do that when you’re writing.

A Hunk of Burning Love

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Gene is already there when I come through the door of the New Deal Cafe and Bar. There’s a sausage speared on the end of his fork and he’s waving it in Rita’s face. Gene’s a fat man but a long way from jolly; he can in fact be mean as a snake if you give him half a chance.

Toward the Sun

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Nieman runs in the mountains. He starts from our small house in town at seven thousand feet, and in a few minutes, I see his maroon sweat suit drifting among the dark spruce near the Ute Chief Mine at 7,500. When I returned from the garden with the day’s pick of beans, lettuce, and squash (we got no tomatoes at this altitude), he will be nearing the lip of Silver Lake, a cold, shallow, fishless sea at eight thousand feet.

from Internal War

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The poet had come to the end of the road. He went down the Avenida La Paz. But, according to the Junta, the Internal War was just beginning. The strange cortege halted. Although the tune was distantly familiar, he couldn’t quite make it out.

from Dead Sea

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Night was running ahead of itself. People weren’t expecting it at all when it fell upon the city with heavy clouds. The lights on the docks hadn’t been turned on yet; in the Beacon of the Stars sad bulbs illuminated the glasses of cane liguor;many sloops were still cutting the waters of the sea when the wind brought on a night of black clouds.

This Is The Way It Will Be

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Leaving Home

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In Bombay

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In Her Bath

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