By Robert Pinsky
Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sometimes the ability to convey information compactly and quickly has moral grace. Economy in writing can put garrulous narration or evasive speechifying to shame. Here is the first poem in a new book by C. Dale Young:


"If God is Art, then what do we make

of Jasper Johns?" One never knows

what sort of question a patient will pose,

or how exactly one should answer.

Outside the window, snow on snow

began to answer the ground below

with nothing more than foolish questions.

We were no different. I asked again:

"Professor, have we eased the pain?"

Eventually, he'd answer me with:

"Tell me, young man, whom do you love?"

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