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Saturday Linkenings: Kinnell’s “Shelley”

April 2, 2011

Right, so some of you know that my wife’s name is Shelly.  She spells it without a second e. You couldn’t hear that when Nic read my poem a couple of days ago?  No, I suppose not.

I’ll sort it out:  Shelly is the wife in the poem; Percy Bysshe is the Shelley. Specifically, P.B. is the Shelley of Galway Kinnell’s poem, “Shelley”, which Shelly and I heard him read at the StAnza Poetry Festival in St. Andrews, Scotland five years ago last month.

When Mr. Kinnell came onstage, he carried a bag that he didn’t seem to need, tucked his hair behind his ears though it wouldn’t stay, lost track of the second pages of poems, and sipped from the water cup Michael Longley had left at the podium. He sounded like this:

“He’s like you in fifty years,” Shelly leaned over and whispered about Kinnell reading “Shelley”. Therewith, the idea of my poem.

Or, to finally get to the point:  Shelly, warmth & toenails. Shelley, rubble-leaver.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie Steller permalink
    April 2, 2011 9:31 pm

    Most helpful!

  2. April 2, 2011 9:44 pm

    So, I’m not the only one who gets concerned with a post being misinterpreted!
    I certainly couldn’t imagine you saying anything rude about Your Shelly!
    Nonetheless, thanks for clarifying!

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