[He Lived—Childhood Summers]

By Lorine Niedecker 1903–1970 Lorine Niedecker
He lived—childhood summers
    thru bare feet
then years of money’s lack
    and heat

beside the river—out of flood
    came his wood, dog,
woman, lost her, daughter—
    prologue

to planting trees. He buried carp
    beneath the rose
where grass-still
    the marsh rail goes.

To bankers on high land
    he opened his wine tank.
He wished his only daughter
    to work in the bank

but he’d given her a source
    to sustain her—
a weedy speech,
    a marshy retainer.

Lorine Niedecker, "He Lived Childhood Summers" from Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy. Copyright © 2002 by the Regents of the University of California. Reprinted with the permission of the University of California Press.

Source: Collected Works (The University of California Press, 2002)

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Poet Lorine Niedecker 1903–1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

 Lorine  Niedecker

Biography

Niedecker's verse is praised for its stark, vivid imagery, subtle rhythms, and spare language, which Kenneth Cox described as "whittled clean." Concerned with the distillation of images and thoughts into concise expression, Niedecker described her work as a "condensery," and several critics have compared her poetry to the delicate yet concrete verse of Chinese and Japanese writers. Although Niedecker's long correspondence with

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POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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