In Ohio: A Town and the Bard Who Left It

When he was still a lonely high school kid in Martins Ferry, Ohio, the factory worker's son who would later become -- in Critic Peter Stitt's phrase -- "one of the very great heroes of American poetry" used to drop by Margret Ashbrook's house and slide his poems across the table for Margret and her mom to see. "He showed us a poem that had the word slob in it, and we told him that was an unpoetic word," recalls Margret. "But he said that's how it is, and that's how he feels, and that's how it's gonna stay. We tried...

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