Summer Job

By Richard Hoffman b. 1949 Richard Hoffman
“The trouble with intellectuals,” Manny, my boss,   
once told me, “is that they don’t know nothing   
till they can explain it to themselves.  A guy like that,”   
he said, “he gets to middle age—and by the way,   
he gets there late; he’s trying to be a boy until   
he’s forty, forty-five, and then you give him five   
more years until that craziness peters out, and now   
he’s almost fifty—a guy like that at last explains   
to himself that life is made of time, that time   
is what it’s all about.  Aha! he says.  And then   
he either blows his brains out, gets religion,   
or settles down to some major-league depression.   
Make yourself useful.  Hand me that three-eights   
torque wrench—no, you moron, the other one.”

Poem copyright © 2006 by Richard Hoffman, and reprinted from his most recent book of poetry, Gold Star Road, Barrow Street Press, 2007, by permission of the poet.

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Poet Richard Hoffman b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Activities, Jobs & Working, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Class

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Richard  Hoffman


Poet and teacher Richard Hoffman earned a BA in English from Fordham University and an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College. He is the author of the poetry collections Without Paradise: Poems (2002) and Gold Star Road (2007), which was selected by Molly Peacock for the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and won the Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club. 

Hoffman is also the author of the memoir Half the House . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Class

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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