Cemetery 24 Kunitz Stanley Perspective Corrected.jpg


Stanley Jasspon Kunitz (1905-2006).

The poet Stanley Kunitz was a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, the Bollingen Prize in 1987, the National Medal of the Arts in 1993, the National Book Award in 1995 and then, in 2000, at the age of 95 — when most people think about slowing down a bit — he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. Kunitz spent almost 50 years in Provincetown. Even those who did not know his poetry could not fail to be impressed by his terraced garden at 32 Commercial Street. “I conceived of the garden as a poem in stanzas,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “Each terrace contributes to the garden as a whole in the same way each stanza in a poem has a life of its own.” His last book, in collaboration with Genine Lentine, was The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden, with photographs by Marnie Crawford Samuelson. Kunitz died at the age of 100. He and his wife, Elise Asher, are buried near Jack and Rachel Tworkov, who had been their neighbors in life. The epitaph comes from his poem, “The Long Boat,” the concluding lines of which are:

Peace! Peace!

To be rocked by the Infinite!

As if it didn’t matter

which way was home;

as if he didn’t know

he loved the earth so much

he wanted to stay forever.

¶ Last updated on 4 July 2017.

Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key A-65, Page 17.

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