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George Oppen
George Oppen
Born in 1908, George Oppen was known for both his poetry and his political activism, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969...
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Leviathan

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by George Oppen

Truth also is the pursuit of it: 
Like happiness, and it will not stand. 

Even the verse begins to eat away 
In the acid. Pursuit, pursuit; 

A wind moves a little, 
Moving in a circle, very cold. 

How shall we say? 
In ordinary discourse—
 
We must talk now. I am no longer sure of the words, 
The clockwork of the world. What is inexplicable 

Is the 'preponderance of objects,' The sky lights 
Daily with that predominance 

And we have become the present. 

We must talk now. Fear 
Is fear. But we abandon one another. 





Audio Clip
April 9, 1964
Guggenheim Museum, New York City
From the Academy Audio Archive



From New Collected Poems by George Oppen, copyright © 1965 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
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