Of all the poems I’ve taught over the years, there is one that I have always felt I’d pick if there were only one poem I could teach. It is W. H. Auden’s “In Memory of W. B. Yeats” and it contains all the elements of poetry: meter that changes with the subject, allusion, compression, assonance, consonance, mood, concrete elements.
This morning my first thought was of how it applies to Bill:
Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William (Kloefkorn) is laid to rest.
Let the (Kansan) vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry (…)
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark, cold day.