Galway Kinnell was often compared to his favorite poet, Walt Whitman, whose “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” Kinnell movingly read aloud every year on the far side of the Brooklyn Bridge at a benefit for the New York poetry library Poets House. Like Whitman, Kinnell — who died in 2014 having won the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and a MacArthur, among other honors for books published between the 1960 and 2006 — was a poet of capacious interest in the natural world, profound commitment to social justice, and deep sympathy for the people he saw. He was a poet of his time, meaning both that he depicts the world, concerns and values of the last third of the 20th century, and that his poems are like those of many of his peers born at the end of the 1920s — A.R. Ammons, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin and Adrienne Rich — who broke free of the strict formalism of 1950s American poetry to create the more impressionistic, sometimes surreal, nature-focused poetry of the late 1960s and 1970s. For many, Kinnell’s poems are exactly what one thinks of when one thinks of contemporary poetry. All of his books are collected here, along with a handful of late poems. It is impossible to consider the landscape of the last 50 years of American poetry without Kinnell. Kinnell was inarguably a great poet. Among the subjects he was best at were steadfastness in marriage and parenthood. In his famous poem “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps,” Kinnell’s young son Fergus wanders into his parents’ room when “we lie together, / after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodes, / familiar touch of the long-married.” Then Fergus “flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep, / his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.” There is no ball and chain here, no ambitions crushed beneath the weight of child-rearing. Kinnell’s world is enlarged and infinitely specified by his love for his family. Galway Kinnell Reads "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps" Galway Kinnell Reads "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps" Specificity itself — the great bounty of attending intimately to life’s minutia — is another of Kinnell’s great subjects and poetic practices.