A Man of Letters

By Eric J. Sandeen

If my father, Ernest Sandeen, were alive today he would remind me that the symbols and epiphanies of meaning of the poetic world await even the most unwary. I am rolling through the Danish countryside en route to my job as a guest professor at Odense University. It is now dawn, a pastel experience in a green and gentle country that I have come to know well since my father took the family to Aarhus on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1957. Suddenly, Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat major has come through my earphones, in the definitive Arthur Rubinstein rendition, the selection he wanted to be played at his funeral. Landscapes, associations, music — so much of what I remember of my life with a poet deals in symbols that transcend language.…

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