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William Kloefkorn

William Kloefkorn was professor emeritus of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University and was named Nebraska State Poet in 1982. His books include Swallowing the Soap: New and Selected Poems (University of Nebraska Press).



If I can learn to think of everything as music maybe what once upon a time was babble I’ll hear as song, what once upon a time was screech I’ll recognize as a virtuoso singing—my father, say, whose throat an instant before the sot at [...]


Memory’s law: what we choose to say about our past becomes our past. Stephen Dunn, “Memory” I choose therefore to say that I lost the fight because I was afraid I’d win, afraid I’d not be able to endure the sight of blood o [...]

Living Without It

Let me know if you need something. If I don’t have it, I’ll teach you how to live without it. Kansas lore When my father sent me to fetch a box-end wrench, and I couldn’t find it, he rolled from beneath the Model-T, hissing goddam [...]

Late Morning, Almost Noon

And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused . . . William Wordsworth, “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” Not the [...]

Walking with the Dog to Dover

Summer 2005 | Essays

The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience. —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace The aborigines of New Zealand are called Maoris, a Polynesian people. . . . Among them, it was supposed that the seat of the soul was the left eye. [...]


Spring 2004 | Poetry

I am not old but old enough to believe
I know what Jimmy Stevens wants
when he invites my sister
into his Model-A. And because