Ted Enslin

News just came via the National Poetry Foundation's post on Facebook that poet Ted Enlsin has died. 


It was right around this time four years ago that the man who introduced Ted Enslin to me, and my fellow ENG 308: Writing Poetry classmates at UMaine, also died, Sylvester Pollet. Sylvester was friends with Ted Enslin, who agreed to come visit and teach a few classes that semester, back in Spring 1999.

I was a "baby" in the world of poetry at the time. It was my second creative writing class ever. I had no idea how special my experiences were at UMaine. I didn't realize that not every poetry student had poets like Ted Enslin guest teach their undergraduate writing class. Still, I was able to appreciate it very much, simply as a someone new to the idea of calling herself a poet, even if I didn't realize how fortunate I was.

What I remember from the reading he gave during that visit, because it was a funny thing to say, was that he didn't believe in saying "one" or "two", etc. if a poem were in sections. "So I'll just pause," was what he said.

No one ever likes the name of the group they're lumped in, it seems, but I will go ahead and finish up by saying now that I have come to understand and love the entire spectrum of the work that came out of the "Objectivist" movement, my young encounters with Enslin have become even more meaningful. I am sad to hear of his passing.

Later on, when I have access to them, I will post some poems from "From Near the Great Pine", published in 1989 by Spoon River Poetry Press. I picked up a copy at Gulf of Maine books in Brunswick a while ago. It is a good book.