to the small poem and the quiet voice within

cid corman | the next one thousand years


is all there

is – so come
and get it.

a bird call
makes it seem

(I don’t know
why) like a
holiday –

like getting
a letter
from Lorine.

Poetry becomes
that conversation we could
not otherwise have.

What are we
waiting for?
The silence is ready.


Cid Corman, internationally acclaimed poet, translator, and editor of the seminal journal Origin, was born in 1924 and raised in the vicinity of Boston. Robert Creeley gave his first public reading on Corman’s This is Poetry, one of the first all-poetry radio programs in America. His lifelong travels took him across North America and Canada and into Europe and Japan where he settled finally for nearly a half century in Kyoto with his wife Shizumi Konshi. His literary friendships ranged widely from Creeley, Charles Olson, William Bronk, Lorine Niedecker, and Theodore Enslin, to flocks of younger and unknown poets forever welcomed to his door. The world lost Cid Corman in 2004.

THE NEXT ONE THOUSAND YEARS, THE SELECTED POEMS OF CID CORMAN is available from Longhouse, Publishers and booksellers, 1604 River Road, Vermont 05301. $16.95 plus S&H. E-mail: |


  1. Eric Chaet

    Poetry is NOT all there is. Why say such a foolish thing? A damned pity that poets go on making of poetry itself a cause, acting as tho it’s the most important thing. (Doing so serves as a great cover for mediocre, or worse, poetry—which is like contaminated food or water.) When poetry is right, it’s great. (It can’t be great when it asserts blatant falsehoods.)

    Poetry’s often underestimated, true. But that goes for a lot else, that’s great, too—integrity, real justice (not the Department of Justice version), kindness, wisdom….

    Sex isn’t all there is. Nutrition isn’t all there is. Being nice isn’t all there is. Being cool isn’t all there is. Safety isn’t all there is. Knowledge isn’t all there is. Might isn’t all there is. Ease isn’t all there is. Power isn’t all there is. Cunning isn’t all there is. Fame isn’t all there is. Money isn’t all there is. Beauty ain’t truth, & truth ain’t beauty. A butterfly doesn’t mean there’s no rock. A rock doesn’t mean that there’s no butterfly.

  2. Don

    And so, Eric, “poetry becomes / that conversation we could / not otherwise have.”

    Thanks, Norb.


  3. Barbara Fitz Vroman

    It’s all a matter of viewpoint Eric. Sex, nutrition, cool, ease,
    power etc. are indeed not all there is. But poetry wraps itself around all of these, there is hardly anything that poetry hasn’t
    embraced and made it’s own, including war, horror, divinity,
    lice and ice. Poetry is the examined heart, the seeking and seeing mind…and the shared conversation.

  4. Barbara Fitz Vroman

    It’s all a matter of point of view, Eric.
    No, sex, nutrition, cool, ease, power, and etc. etc. are not all there is. But poetry wraps itself around all of those and everything else and makes all of it it’s own, including war, divinity, peanut butter, a kiss, lice and ice. There is hardly anything poetry hasn’t embraced as it’s own and shared. So it’s not that far a jump to say that poetry is all, if everything is poetry.

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