Tuesday, May 3, 2011


James Laughlin


We were always searching for

That happy country we read about

In books when we were young?

Once we thought we'd found it,

And for a time we visited there,

But then we knew we'd been deceived;

It was not the dreamed-of country.

Or had we just deceived ourselves?

In making the choice of each other

Had we destroyed the happy land?

from Phantoms
(Aperture 1994)

James Laughlin, poet, often blended the spirit of the Latin poets with his own knack for colloquial speech, was the publisher of New Directions books since 1936. A delightful man of letters in his many faceted memoirs ~ often published as essays and autobiography ~ he may be best known outside of publishing for his lyrical and candid love poems.

photo:new directions