Carver’s best poem?

Raymond Carver wrote “Hummingbird” for his wife, Tess Gallagher.

Raymond Carver wrote a lot about his difficult youth, about his battle with drink, and about fishing.

But he also wrote about love. Early on in my reading of Carver, I would skip over a lot of his poems because I detected early on the subject matter just didn’t grab me.

But I stuck with it and started finding gems. Like this one written to his second wife, the poet Tess Gallagher. I believe it was written late in his life when he knew he was dying.

Hummingbird
(for Tess)

Suppose I say summer,
write the word “hummingbird,”
put it in an envelope,
take it down the hill
to the box. When you open
my letter you will recall
those days and how much,
just how much, I love you.

I’m not sure it this is Carver’s best poem because I haven’t read them all yet. But, it’s a contender, in my book.

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Published by

Bobby Ball

I love poetry. But I'm picky. No one pays me to read and write poems. It's more of a labor of love. I guess that puts me in good company. This is a project to discover why some poems strike you deep, deep down, while others leave you cold. I've got some ideas, and I'm eager to learn. I'll show you some of mine. Maybe we'll learn something new.

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