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Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: Silverdorn (
Date: July 08, 2003 03:08AM

Galway Kinnellís poem ďParkinsonís DiseaseĒ reflects upon a sad tale in life written in a freely flowing and eloquent manner. This poem along with an array of other poems that Kinnell has written captures a sad tale of woe written with such beauty in wording, phrasing, and timing that a person can see the beauty in something as sad as a daughter caring for her father with Parkinsonís disease, changing his diapers. I want to discover how this poem and Kinell's style of writing reflects his life in any number of ways. This poem and all of Kinnellís work sits with every one of us as we drive morosely in our cars, stands with us as we do mundane things like going to the bathroom, and it expresses sorrow with all the beauty that sorrowful things really have.

I've just recently been turned on to Kinnell and I'm left with so many questions.

1) What has happened in his life that leads to the beautiful sorrow reflected in his poems? The more I read of Kinnell's poems, the more some tragic thing in his life rings home, but he expresses it with such rhythym and phrasing that beauty poors from his work.

2) I understand that Kinnell has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Unother than his eloquent writing style and his easy to understand poetry, what events have transpired in his life that led to the fervor and passion expressed in his abundancy of beautiful, sorrowful, and award-winning poems?

3) What are some good sites that analyze poems, specifically "Parkinson's Disease" and do so in relation to the poets life?

4) Any additional information concerning Galway Kinnell that pertains to the poem "Parkinson's Disease", his work in general, and/or his work in relation to his life would be greatly appreciated I.E. articles, web-sites, periodicals, books, etc..

I have chosen to write an essay on Kinnell and his poem "Parkinson's Disease" due to the trials I have faced in this life. These aren't all the questions that arise in my feeble mind but such will do for now. Thanks in advance for your help.

Learn to relish every day that you have. Sadly, you may not have as many days as you'd like.

Re: Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: July 08, 2003 11:29AM

These links may help you get started:

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If these sites do not give you enough information about the specific poem you seek, go to the google search engine. Type in Parkinson's Disease + Kinnell
and you should get some results.


Re: Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: July 08, 2003 09:34PM

I saw one review that panned it badly, but I have not read the poem.

Why not take a chance and post it, Silverdorn?

Re: Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: dennis (
Date: July 16, 2003 12:34PM

As a young man I wrote mostly from sorrow or separation. It was
a spur to my creative juices. When I look back on those works
they seem pointless. Groveling in my aloneness was not really
a substitute for relationships and that poetry showed it.

Also, I didn't make the effort to write well. I just let it hang out.
This jaundiced view of my own work is perhaps, why I avoid the
stream of conciousness stuff which is so prevalent today.

There are many excellent causes for creative work.
I would suggest: Admiration, love, beauty, the view of the moment
and sharing, as alternative reasons to create.
I'm sure there are very many more. best dlc

Re: Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: July 16, 2003 04:30PM

In reply to what Dennis shared (for which, THANK YOU):

If writing--in whatever form--helps a person to get through a period of sorrow or separation, I'm all for it. Medical research is now proving that people who "journal" tend to heal faster and more completely from all sorts of injuries, physical and emotional. So I say: LET IT all hang out! Go ahead and fill those spiral binders with odes and sonnets and epics and free verse -- stuff that will make you shudder when you read it in a few months or years. That's what it's FOR - to help you get from one place of mind to another, so you can look back on the pain AND the poetry from a better future place.

BUT!!! keep it separate from the writing that you share with others!

Like Dennis (I suspect), I was subjected to a lot of "poetry" by friends as if they expected FEEDBACK, for heaven's sake! You don't want to listen to a description of someone's pain and then give them a grade or stylistic pointers. You just want to say, "Whoa. Rough. Poor baby!"

My personal term for that stuff is "love-me-love-my-poetry." And (like Dennis, I guess) my experience with it makes me wary of "the stream of conciousness stuff which is so prevalent today."

Re: Galway Kinnell and the Beauty in Sorrow
Posted by: dennis (
Date: July 17, 2003 12:11PM

Yes Marian-I agree-writing it down can be a fine aid in getting through it.
best dlc

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