Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town

Hello Richard Hugo, I never knew you in person
But reading your poems and essays I already miss you my dear fellow
So I hope you’d enjoyed being translated into this odd language
Your Triggering Town now may trigger someone here to dare to splash
Some crystalline water of the truth (of sorts)
We speak here, but if not, please drop me a feather
Or maybe a thread of cobweb from your misty beyond.

RichardHugoBy sheer chance I’ve learned some valuable part of my English at the University of Montana, Missoula, where Richard Hugo, MA, was one of the first directors of the famous creative writing program. If I only knew, mayhap I’d never leave that place and stayed to study. But it was exactly 20 years ago, I was 18, and unaware, and a chemist at that time.

About Richard Hugo.
Some of his poetry.
At the grave of Richard Hugo.

From “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg”, by Richard Hugo

Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?



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