i’m here to tell you an old story

I first heard of the poet Cornelius Eady on Monday, June 18, 2007, at the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown. It was the first day of a fiction workshop with Pam Houston. We were upstairs, sitting around a table, and Pam opened the workshop by reading us a poem…

I’m here/to tell you/an old story…

This is the beginning of the poem “Gratitude” by Cornelius Eady. In the section below, which comes a bit later, you can see the way Eady lays the poem on the page…

I own/ this particular story/on this particular street/At this particular moment./This appears/to be/my work./I’m 36 years old,/and all I have to do/ is repeat/ what I notice/Over/ and over,/ all I have to do/ is remember.

“Gratitude.” From the collection The Gathering of My Name. Eady is the author of eight books of poetry. His most recent, Hardheaded Weather, is a collection of new and selected poems–with a title and a cover perfectly suited to these days of snow and ice. “Gratitude” is also included in Hardheaded Weather.

Click here to listen to the poet read “I’m a Fool to Love You.”

6 thoughts on “i’m here to tell you an old story

  1. Wow. I too first discovered Cornelius Eady through Pam. And Stephen Dobyn’s (Have you ever read Querencia?). I love it when you hear poetry read to you by someone who really cares about the work. It helps me appreciate it in a way I might not have when I read it on the page. Thanks for reminding me of this.


  2. Such a nice surprise to see Cornelius Eady’s name flash across my TweetDeck screen this morning. Even nicer to see his poetry getting more recognition. I met Cornelius way back in 1980, at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. He was one of the nicest and most interesting people at the conference, and his poetry captivated readers even then. Thanks for letting me know he’s still going strong!


  3. And, Chris, thank you for taking the time to share your story about Cornelius.

    Come back on February 1–Cornelius will be writing about a day in his life.


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