With Sincerest Regrets

By Russell Edson b. 1935 Russell Edson

for Charles Simic

Like a monstrous snail, a toilet slides into a living room on a track of wet, demanding to be loved.
         It is impossible, and we tender our sincerest regrets. In the book of the heart there is no mention made of plumbing.
         And though we have spent our intimacy many times with you, you belong to an unfortunate reference, which we would rather not embrace ...
         The toilet slides away ...

Russell Edson, “With Sincerest Regrets,” in The Wounded Breakfast © 1985 by Russell Edson and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press. www.wesleyan.edu/wespress

Source: The Wounded Breakfast (Wesleyan University Press, 1985)

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Poet Russell Edson b. 1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Home Life

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Russell  Edson

Biography

Called the “godfather of the prose poem in America,” Russell Edson’s idiosyncratic body of work is populated with strange and intriguing figures: a woman fights a tree, a mother serves ape; in the poem “Let Us Consider,” there’s a “farmer who makes his straw hat his sweetheart” and an “old woman who makes a floor lamp her son.” The poems are surreal and fablelike, sometimes resembling brief plays. Donald Hall has said of Edson’s . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Home Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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