'Lastness': Award-Winning Poet Galway Kinnell Dies At 87 Poet Galway Kinnell died Tuesday. His career spanned from the end of World War II to the present, earning him a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Home in Vermont, Kinnell died from leukemia.

'Lastness': Award-Winning Poet Galway Kinnell Dies At 87

'Lastness': Award-Winning Poet Galway Kinnell Dies At 87

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Poet Galway Kinnell died Tuesday. His career spanned from the end of World War II to the present, earning him a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Home in Vermont, Kinnell died from leukemia.

RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: And now this. The poet Galway Kinnell has died. He began writing poetry at the end of World War II in a plain-spoken style some compared to Walt Whitman. In his long career, he won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's Galway Kinnell reading from his poem called "Lastness."

(SOUNDBITE OF POEM, "LASTNESS")

GALWAY KINNELL: (Reading) A black bear sits alone in the twilight, nodding from side to side, turning slowly around and around on himself, scuffing the four-footed circle into the earth. He sniffs the sweat in the breeze. He understands a creature - a death creature - watches from the fringe of the trees. Finally he understands, I am no longer here. He, himself, from the fringe of the trees watches a black bear get up, eat a few flowers, trudge away, all his fur glistening in the rain.

GREENE: The voice of poet Galway Kinnell reading his poem "Lastness." He was 87 years old when he died Tuesday at home on his farm in Vermont.

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