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Timothy Murphy is the author of several collections of poetry, including Very Far North (Waywiser Press).
This is the second part of a speech on poet Alan Sullivan that Timothy Murphy has delivered to Catholic and Protestant congregations on the High Plains. (The first part appeared in the October issue.) Mr. Sullivan, a frequent contributor to Chronicles, died on July 9, right after finishing his last work of translating David into meter.
The Sumerian epic Gilgamesh predates King David by 2,000 years, so we know that poetry was an ancient art in the time of the king. But David is the first poet in human history whom we know by name, and we regard him as the father of lyric poetry.
Reading Joseph Blotner's biography revives my memories of Robert Penn Warren. I was summoned to his rooms at Silliman College on September 5, 1969. I was a freckled, red-haired 18-year-old in whom he may have seen an apparition from his past.
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