Listen, For I Have Kept A Fanatic Heart -by Ray Smith (Poetry Magazine Feb 1944)

Some poems seem to reflect the very essence of our being on an intimate level.  This is the poem that I most relate to.  The poet, Ray Smith, also happens to be the grandfather of my primary source of inspiration in my personal life.  My wife, Mira Meunier.  Ray was a poet who enlisted in WWII to serve as a combat medic.  He fought in several of the most noted battles, one of which was the battle of the bulge.  It’s interesting to see the marked change that took place in his poetry from the period before his deployment to the period after which he had experienced the horrors of warfare.  This transformation can be observed in the poems published by Poetry Magazine during those years found here for anyone who might be interested in reading them.  He would become a decorated soldier, having risked his life on numerous occasions to save his comrades. Speaking of comrades, in a vulgar display of cruel irony, he was blacklisted for being a communist after having served his country.  He spent the remainder of his years serving as the library director at several universities and served twice as poet laureate for the state of Minnesota.


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