Literary Birthday – 1 February – Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell was born 1 February 1927, and died 27 October 2014.


  1. That’s the way it is with poetry: When it is incomprehensible it seems profound, and when you understand it, it is only ridiculous.
  2. Prose is walking; poetry is flying.
  3. We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavours of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, this is the problem I want to have. I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love.
  4. There are two versions to every poem – the crying version and the straight version.
  5. To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.

Galway Kinnell was an American poet. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award for Poetry for Selected Poems.He was poet laureate for the state of Vermont From 1989 to 1993. His other works include The Book of Nightmares and When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone.

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by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 1st February 2014