Long & winding Rhode

Serendipity... I have a postcard from James Merrill, who was a friend of my Uncle Jim (Ravlin). Jim was my mother's older brother (by 15 yrs). My mother (Mary Ravlin Gould) was a childhood friend of the granddaughter of Longfellow (the daughter of "laughing Allegra"). (My mother had her first drink - sherry - in the Longfellow home in Portland ME, when she was 13.) In the late 1990s I wrote a book-length poem called "Stubborn Grew", the plot of which turned on the fate of Jim Ravlin's daughter, Juliet Ravlin (my cousin). It was published in 2000, at Tod Thilleman's invitation, by Spuyten Duyvil Press. Tod wrote to me that my long poem reminded him more than anything of James Merrill (a poet I have in large part avoided reading).

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