I went to visit the poet John Tagliabue in the hospital today. He's my ex-father-in-law, my children's grandfather. He dedicated his collected poems to them, along with his wife & daughters.

He's dying of cancer, in a great deal of pain. Tomorrow (probably) he goes into a "hospice" room in the hospital. It's a block down the street from where my children grew up.

You probably haven't heard of him. He's a very fine & dedicated American poet. He went to Columbia with Allen Ginsberg : he sort of lived out a parallel version of Ginsberg's dedication to Whitman's example.

He traveled all over the world & brought things back, in Whitman fashion, in his poems.

He's written many thousands of poems. A "Collected", published by the National Poetry Foundation, probably only skims the surface. He's written even more letters. He used to get up in the morning & write, & walk, & teach, & write. This short, excitable, Chaplinesque person (born in northern Italy, grew up in Jersey City) is a real spiritual & literary athlete. He comes from a talented & energetic clan - his cousin (another) John Tagliabue writes for the NY Times; his other cousin Paul is the retiring head of the NFL.

I will have more to say about this unusual poet. He asked me today if I remembered the poem he had written about his mother & father. I couldn't, but I'm looking for it now.

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