Clint Margrave’s Poem in Honor of the Late Gerry Locklin

Sunday, January 24, 2021

“Toad Dies and Goes to Heaven” by Clint Margrave

I always tell students at the beginning of survey courses of poetry that this particular genre doesn’t get a lot of respect in American culture. At best, it’s an afterthought. I could tell you horror stories of the contempt that professors outside the Department of English at CSULB have for the art of poetry, but I am legally forbidden to reveal these instances.

Whenever these instances of dismissal occur, I am grateful that at least he professors of English at CSULB have great respect for poetry. It’s not always that case at various universities. There’s a reason that Randall Jarrell made a comment about the way that even critics of literature can be condescending towards poets. He compared some academic critics to a farmer’s remark to the barnyard: “Get out of here, pig. What do you know about bacon?”

If this is a legacy of poetry’s value at CSULB, then it is in large part because of the four decade of work produced by Gerry Locklin. One of my colleagues at CSULB is Clint Margrave, whose very fine poetry is published by New York Quarterly Books. He just had a poem published in RATTLE magazine that is dedicated to Gerry Locklin. I have rarely encountered a poet as spot on as this one! Bravo, Clint!

“Toad Dies and Goes to Heaven” by Clint Margrave