Kenneth Koch Poems

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Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch (27 February 1925 6 July 2002) was an American poet, playwright, and professor, active from the 1950s until his death at age 77. He was a prominent poet of the "New York School" of poetry, a loose group of poets including Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery that eschewed contemporary introspective poetry in favor of an exuberant, cosmopolitan style that drew major inspiration from travel, painting, and music. Koch was born Jay Kenneth Koch in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began writing poetry at an early age, discovering the work of Shelley and Keats in his teenage years. At the age of 18, he served in WWII as a U.S. Army infantryman in the Philippines. After his service, he attended Harvard University, where he met future New York School cohort John Ashbery. After graduating from Harvard in 1948, and moving to New York City, Koch studied for and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 1951 he met his first wife, Janice Elwood, at UC Berkeley; they married in 1954 and lived in France and Italy for over a year. Their daughter, Katherine, was born in Rome in 1955. In 1959 he joined the faculty in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, and he taught classes at Columbia for over forty years.

variations on a theme by william carlos williams
 
 
1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, bu... [read poem]

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