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Poem for Dan's Departure

Kate Farrell (b. 1946), from her book Time's River

So much do we love
Talking to people we love
About ideas we love
That thinking becomes a conversation
With people we love about ideas we love.

Being your mother
Became a conversation
Where your quiet ideas furthered
The attachment first fastened
In the far configurations
Of destiny.

I am honored that the universe
Loaned your childhood to me,
Adding such a bright star
To the constellation of conversations
That I am becoming,
For, however far apart we are,
Your considerate voice stays with me,
Enlightening my thinking.

I wish I could give you
A small package of whatever I know
That is worth knowing
To take with you wherever you go.

I wish you would call me from time to time
And tell the part of me that is you
Where your part of the conversation
Is going.


Kate Farrell’s first two books, Sleeping on the Wing: An Anthology of Modern Poetry with Essays on Reading and Writing (Random House) and Talking to the Sun, An Illustrated Anthology of Poetry for Young People (Henry Holt) were co-written with the poet Kenneth Koch. Among her other books are Art & Love, An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry; Art & Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry, Art & Wonder, An Illustrated Anthology of Visionary Poetry, and Time’s River: The Voyage of Life in Art & Poetry; all published by Bulfinch Press and illustrated by works from the Metropolitan Museum or The National Gallery of Art Farrell has taught at the New York State Poets in the Schools Program and at Columbia University.

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