Grief and consolation

New Fields and Other Stories: On a Child's Death, by Saul Bennett

Saul Bennett, the president of a Madison Avenue public relations group, was driven to write poetry by the death of his 24-year-old daughter. At one moment this promising young woman sat at her desk complaining of a headache; the next moment she was dead of a brain aneurysm. Bennett's poetry (Christian Century was the first to publish him, in 1996) tells the whole story—from the terrible first phone call to the selection of a coffin, the encounter with a plot of too-green grass at the gravesite and the disposal of her clothing some months later. The poems follow the years' passing. The present finds the poet sitting in a shack behind his house, coffined as close to his dead child as he can get:


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