Gravy by Raymond Carver

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.”



Filed under Art, Books, Contemporary Arts, Film, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Short stories, Writing

10 responses to “Gravy by Raymond Carver

  1. Love that. I’m off to read more.

  2. Beautiful. I had only read this one –
    Will get those collections, thanks!

  3. Just ordered two collections of short stories, including the movie-one, and also “All of us”. Can’t wait!

  4. David Milligan-Croft

    You won’t be disappointed, Asha.

  5. … and pure gravy it is.

  6. And one of my favorite quotes, from Raymond Carver… “If we’re lucky, writer and reader alike, we’ll finish the last line or two of a story and then just sit for a minute, quietly.  Ideally, we’ll ponder what we’ve just written or read; maybe our hearts or intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before.  Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree.  Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we’ll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up, ‘created of warm blood and nerves’ as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: Life.  Always life.”
    – Raymond Carver, from Call if You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose

  7. Pingback: Gravy 3 ways – Comma And

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