Kevin Murphy

Lecturer, Literatures in English
School: School of Humanities and Sciences

Some of these poems have appeared, in earlier versions, in Seneca Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Recorder, and Quarry West.

"Bird on a Rock":  This poem is a response to  Chu Ta's ink on paper drawing which is part of the permanent collection of the Johnson Museum at Cornell University.

"Sufis": Some free (or freed) associations after reading the poems of Rumi and Kabir.

"Oatmeal Ad: October 1953": Pressed for money, my mother decided to take advantage of her children's photogenic qualities by submitting our picture to an advertising agency.  During October and November 1953, this ad appeared across America in national magazines such as Life, Good Housekeeping, and Esquire.

 "Equinox, at 35": Poem at half-time.

"Aces and Eights": This poem is an elegy for my brother.  It may help to know that aces and eights was the hand Wild Bill Hicock was holding that night in 1876 he was shot in the back of the head at a saloon in the Dakotas.  It's had a reputation in poker playing ever since.

"Ellen Tucker Emerson, 1811-1831":  The journal entry from Emerson has puzzled scholars, but it's clear that the loss of his young wife was a central trauma in Emerson's formation. 

"Northern Light:" In dreams begin responsibility.

"True Face":  Since my father died when I was quite young, I've always been attracted to the unknowableness of the Zen koan which asks what your true face looked like before your parents met.   What I didn't realize is that I would have to have a son myself before it would begin to make sense.