In this Olson was right:
it’s the syllable that matters
as it, fettering the breath in,
makes it lightsome,
Writing about him, a younger
poet tells us, “Recently I’ve
been staring
        at the New
York etchings of John Sloan,
‘an incorrigible widow-watcher.’
And I teeter
        over widow,
like it, wish to believe in it,
but my reason adjudges it
nothing but a misprint.
that word, since his etchings
mirror many women, doing
what they had to,
            may well
have hit the bull’s eye. Surely
widows would have filled
a good part
        of the hours
he spent at the speckled, rear-
window of his 23rd Street
studio staring
        into fusty
tenement rooms, the railroad
apartments facing on his alley,
no doubt places
for widows, life’s left-overs,
and those too poor to ever
get started,
        at last mattering
in his look as in the loving
stroke bit deeply, surely
into his plates.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 5 Number 2, on page 47
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