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Harvey Denning 1909-1923

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From the book: Voices from Clark Cemetery

Harvey Denning 1909 – 1923 “I saw the universe a thousand times.” I saw the face of God Spread out across the sky Like a million cities on fire. Like Troy cut into little pieces By the slashing sword of Achilles. Cut to shreds and bleeding. There on the ramparts There inside the fissures and crevices Of ten thousand unknown dreams. I read the stories of Homer And the tales of a thousand and one Arabian nights. And I read the solemnly immortal words Of Longfellow, Poe and Defoe. And I decided inside my mind long before I died To perhaps write the greatest story ever told. But I fell from my tree house There on Dorland Street There in the cool shadows of the walnut tree. What would have been my story I wonder. What visions would I have conjured For all to read and envision? My friend, will you write my story now? Will you take pen in hand and possess my voice? Will you find the noble courage to speak for me? This forgotten dead soul Buried here in the dark dust of Clark Cemetery? If you kindly consent, Please begin it with these words: “I saw the universe a thousand times.”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 8/5/2015 7:40:00 AM
Holy crap! How did you do this? Such beautiful opening language (with Prufrock allusions) that made my mouth water. And to end on such a desperate, empty, nihilistic note: no one will tell his story. This ellegy is only an elegy: a brief, respectful gesture toward a person's life that has no time to tell an Homeric epic (as he wished to write). And the elegance of establishing his age: the small reference to the tree house. This is Prufrock in the mind of a child.
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Date: 10/11/2014 11:30:00 AM
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