Christmas 1944: How Silent are the Things of Heaven

Almost exactly seventy years ago, Bill Shank, an 18-year-old from New Jersey, took up the printer’s stick and set some type, then fired up the Challenge Gordon press in the Fine Arts work room and printed out a special Christmas greeting, featuring a poem by his friend, Kenneth Patchen. After Here on the Edge was published last year, Bill Shank sent me a scan of the poem, now cracked and brittle with age, but whose message rings as true today as it did then. 

Patchen Christmas 1944

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