Thursday, April 28, 2011

The poetry of Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen was at the Bandon Writers when I first met him.  He was quiet, reticent about critizing anyone. When he shared his poems, we became quiet too. Hard to explain how he touched us all.  He died last July, unexpectedly. 
This morning, as I was cleaning, I found one of his books,Talking Back to the Moon.
Traprock Books, Eugene, Or., 2005

After Celebrating My 49th Birthday

Say what you will to still the fear-
that I appear to be ten years younger-
this is the age that Father reached
before he couldn't reach farther.

He must have heard similar words-
I never saw him livelier
than before his heart broke of not enough
and of trying to make not enough into more.


  1. This is what I wrote after I heard the news of his death:

    For Bob

    I told you once
    sentiments still forming
    words hardly there,
    i told you
    how exposed i felt
    on those pages
    of yours
    one incident
    after another
    corners full of dust
    bones of discontent
    exposed in mid-day.

    I should have told you how i felt
    each time you spoke as though
    my whole world too
    etched on those pages
    all varnish gone and sandblasted
    pain and rough weather left to rot.

    You spoke of weather and friends
    lost loves at sea, as though hurricanes
    were parlor maidens combing our hair
    invading our dreams.

  2. Both poems are beautiful; His is also a little sad, realizing he, like his Dad before him, passed away at a young age.

  3. man...great poem...sad that he has already passed but thanks for sharing him with us and your poem as well...both are lovely

  4. I love both of these poems,and really enjoyed reading them together. Reading his work, then your poem to him makes me see the impact he could have.

    I love this passage from your poem:

    were parlor maidens combing our hair
    invading our dreams.

  5. so sad about your poet friend
    his poem was sad and full of resignation
    Why're quite the poet