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Gettysburg Review
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Essays

Spring 1995 Edition Selections

“Owning the Masters”

by Marilyn Nelson Waniek

I came of age as a reader of poetry during the early sixties; the first contemporary poet I read seriously was LeRoi Jones. I was terribly moved by his decision to write against the white literary tradition, which he so clearly loved. Jones had been a melancholy confessional Negro aesthete, confused in his identity, part of a new lost generation that called itself “Beat.”


“Scalings”

by Katherine Vaz

Which unhappiness will it be? wondered Dorothea, waiting on the upstairs divan. Picking at a gold loop loose in the furniture, she practiced sitting as she would on the train, insouciant (a word a friend had recently taught her).


“Subtropical Elegy”

by Debora Greger

I could believe in the next world
if it were just the other side
of that fence. The gray body
of bird made wing to dwell above us . . .


“Canada”

by Billy Collins

There is no other way to adequately express
the enormity of the clouds passing over the farms
and wooded lakes of Ontario and the endless visibility
that hands you the distance on a plate.

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