An Old Cracked Tune by Stanley Kunitz
An Old Cracked Tune
My name is Solomon Levi,
the desert is my home,
my mother's breast was thorny,
and father I had none.
The sands whispered, Be separate,
the stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.
Stanley Kunitz was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1905. He attended Harvard College, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1926 and a master's degree in 1927. He served in the Army in World War II, after a request for conscientious objector status was denied. Following the war, he began teaching, first at Bennington College in Vermont, and later at universities including Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Rutgers, and the University of Washington. He was named Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 2000. He died at the age of 100 on May 14, 2006.