poem index


Paul Carroll

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Paul Carroll was born on July 15, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois. After serving in the United States Navy, he received a BA from the University of Chicago in 1948 and an MA in 1952.

He wrote several books of poetry, including The Beaver Dam Road Poems (Big Table Publishing, 1994), New and Selected Poems (Yellow Press, 1978), and Odes (Big Table Publishing, 1969). He also published several anthologies, including The Young American Poets (Big Table Publishing, 1968), and a work of literary analysis, The Poem in Its Skin (Follett Publishing, 1968).

Carroll is also known for his involvement in the Chicago poetry community and his championing of the Beat poets and other new and unique voices in poetry. With Irving Rosenthal, he coedited the Chicago Review from 1957 to 1959, and he cofounded Big Table in 1958. In 1965, he cofounded Big Table Publishing Company with Philip O’Hara, Frank O’Hara’s brother.

In 1974 Carroll founded The Poetry Center in Chicago and the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois­–Chicago, where he taught from 1969 to 1992. He also hosted a radio show called “The Name and Nature of Poetry” from 1974 to 1982. In 1985 he received the Chicago Poets Award from the city’s Office of Fine Arts.Carroll married Maryrose Carroll, a sculptor, in 1977. He died on August 31, 1996, on a farm near Vilas, North Carolina.

Selected Bibliography


The Beaver Dam Road Poems (Big Table Publishing, 1994)
Garden of Earthly Delights (City of Chicago, 1987)
New and Selected Poems (Yellow Press, 1978)
The Luke Poems (Big Table Publishing, 1971)
Odes (Big Table Publishing, 1969)

The Poem in Its Skin (Follett Publishing, 1968)

by this poet


The Sicilian bees     They move inside the mind
Our souls are as big as Rome
Her body like a mirror
A statue made of words
The dwarf of love
Bring the wine that heals the summer’s wounds
A wife of freshly fallen snow
The first night of the world—its stars and
     moons still


To be able to walk along and see
the fierce green sun
the meadow grass the tall gently bobbing weeds
then to take a walk inside yourself
and see trees tall as Tom Thumb
It’s always raining here     It never rains
I’m strolling among the shadows of everyone
     I’ve ever loved


I want to write a poem the birds will understand
and the snakes and stones
the trees with their
               secrets and green faces
Let it enchant the dolphins and the whales
when they are courting in the middle of the ocean
Let it talk with the aborigine
who knows the moon’s a