I've been back in the US for the better part of a week now, but I brought back a head / chest cold from hell so I haven't really felt like making any final comments about my time in Vietnam. I still don't have anything coherent to say, but will get around to it in the next few days, I think, now that I'm feeling better. Lying in bed with a fever gives one lots of time to think odd thoughts, which I've been doing. Actually had an idea for a story and parts of two poems emerge from my febrile meditations, so it wasn't a complete loss of time. And except for the first couple of days, I didn't really feel that bad, though my fever was high enough that my doctor sent me to get tested for H1N1 flu -- initial results negative, official results today, but I'm basically in recovery mode. I did make one resolution of a poetic nature while ill: To honor the repressed "confessional" side of my identity as a poet. Very unfashionable, of course, but I'm too old to follow fashions -- I have also taken to wearing a a very nice navy blue beret I bought in Hanoi.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

4 thoughts on “Back”

  1. I am trying to track down a poem entitled “Desdemona’s advice to Miranda” It begins with the quote” we must not think that men are gods” and includes the line “This is your function, girl, to bring forth little monsters exactly like him or to be his whore to sell for hard cash or a kingdom.” The weird thing is that I have a copy of it typed out on my old typewriter with no author mentioned. I wonder is you know it? Joanne Greene

  2. Sorry, I don’t know it. I think the Poetry Magazine site has a “poem finder,” thought, that might be of help.

  3. I believe that poets, by nature, are unfashionable, so it follows that, as a poet, one would write “unfashionable” poetry. (Even amongst ones own kind.)

    So much enjoyed your Vietnam posts.

  4. I’ve been looking for you under your blue beret, but to no avail. I hope you are feeling better and that I get to see you soon.

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