Wednesday, June 03, 2009

David Bromige, R.I.P.

Sad news: the poet David Bromige has died. I only met him once or twice, but I admired his work, his wit, his sense of play and style. He loved to take another poet's line and turn it around, making something new and surprising out of it. For me, this small passage from an interview in Jacket magazine captures much of his spontaneity and humor. He will be missed:

Doug Powell: People mention they have discerned a ‘Stevens’ quality in your poetry. The rhyme with his ‘Credences of Summer’ tipped me off. Is your sequence [‘Credences of Winter’], to your mind, antithetical to his?

David Bromige: A poorly-paid college teacher, a weed-using shadow of a man, whose humble dwelling was pit-stop to all and sundry, in antithetical relation to a roly-poly, barrel-chested, manicured, well-shod, imposing Yalie who got plastered with other late-in-life Yalies and had fisticuffs with Hemingway but never invited anyone home? Perhaps. I should never have taken Hemingway on. It was my Yalies who urged me to do it. Let me say there are no rousing assurances in my poems. Let the rich bury the rich. All I can do is destroy their language. I think the pill is wearing off. Got more?