Both of us had been close
to Joel, and at Joel’s death
my friend had gone to the wake
and the memorial service
and more recently he had
visited Joel’s grave, there
at the back of the grassy
cemetery among the trees,
“a quiet, gentle place,” he said,
“befitting Joel.” And I said,
“What’s the point of going
to look at graves?” I went
into one of my celebrated
tirades. “People go to look
at the grave of Keats or Hart
Crane, they go traveling just to
do it, and what a waste of time.
What do they find there? Hell,
I wouldn’t go look at the grave
of Shakespeare if it was just
down the street. I wouldn’t
look at–” And I stopped. I
was about to say the grave of God
until I realized I’m looking at it
all the time. . . .

Analysis, meaning and summary of Hayden Carruth's poem Graves

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