In Memoriam: C. K. Williams

Photo courtesy Elijah Hail via Unsplash

Photo courtesy Elijah Hail via Unsplash

Poet C. K. Williams died this week; you can read a brief obituary here. He himself wrote a moving tribute at the death of his friend Galway Kinnell late last year in the New Yorker; I commend it to your reading, since a eulogy often says as much about the eulogizer as the eulogized.

I’ve read his poems from time to time, and certainly come across them in anthologies and classes on poetry, but I don’t know his work well. But here is “Light,” a poem of his I’m fond of, a poem with Dante and bats and these gorgeous lines:

[. . .] having to know for us both that everything ends,
world, after-world, even their memory, steamed away
like the film of uncertain vapor of the last of the luscious rain.


I hope you’ll enjoy it too.