To Duration: A Poet Responds

My dear friend Steven Epperson read my translation of Peter Handke’s “To Duration” this morning while walking to work. Here his response:

To the reader of To Duration,

A recommendation: Read it out loud, on foot
under an overcast Monday morning sky
as you walk from home to work.

Be advised: you may find yourself weeping
In recognition of life fleeting, durable and deep.

He named it, wrote it, spoke it.
Thank you for bringing To Duration
To my tongue, my heart.

Go well, and thanks, Steven

Rev. Dr. Steven Epperson
Unitarian Church of Vancouver
溫哥華尋道會– Vancouver Xundaohui – “Seekers of the Way”

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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2 Responses to To Duration: A Poet Responds

  1. roughghosts says:

    I am still reflecting on this poem, Scott. I think it is impossible to read without reading it right into one’s own life, in search of those places, those moments when I touch the experience of duration. And to wonder why I may have found it less of late.


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