Raymond Carver is one of my favourite poets. Actually, come to think of it, he is my favourite poet.
He’s better known for his short stories than his poetry. Anyone seen the film Short Cuts by Robert Altman? It’s based on Carver’s stories.
I love Carver’s voice. His writing appears effortless.
Sadly, he passed away in 1988 at the tender age of 50 from the big C.
This is one of my favourite poems.
by Raymond Carver.
No other word will do. For that’s what it was.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. “Don’t weep for me,”
he said to his friends. “I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.”