Current Events Provide An Occasion For Poetry

A crayfish

A crayfish

A few days ago, Philip Levine was named the next poet laureate.

Yesterday, the New York Times picked up a New Orleans journalist’s revelation that Zabar’s lobster salad was not made of lobster but was, in fact, made of crayfish, prompting Zabars to change the product’s name to “seafare salad.”

This convergence of events can only mean one thing: it is time to listen to an MP3 of William Carlos Williams (who was once appointed poet laureate, but didn’t serve) reading his great poem “Seafarer” at the 92nd Street Y (right across town from Zabar’s) in January, 1954.


Good news! We’ve located this MP3 for you.

Here it is.

This poem, which is not very widely known, has, in The Observer‘s humble opinion, one of the best last lines ever, one that is  even better in the poet’s own recitation of it.

Happy seafaring.