Friday, June 09, 2006

Danan Schufman's Poems (1979 - June 3, 2006)

At the request and on behalf of Danan's family I am removing these poems from this page.

My sole and original intent in posting them was in order to find family members and give them to them. Last week, soon after I posted them (the next morning?) I was contacted by a family member who thanked me for posting them and requested the manuscript so he could pass it on to Danan's parents and so that he could include them in a eulogy. I made one copy for him and included the original manuscript in a folder for the family and gave it to him the next day. So, in a certain way, my post has done it's work.

My sincere condolences to the Schufman family and loved ones. My deepest, deepest regrets if my posting these poems (selections of a few poems I marked in the manuscript as his "best" and not the entire packet) was in any way upsetting or an invasion of privacy. The poems were poems he shared in class with others, had workshopped and read out loud. (I may even possibly have a videotape of him reading them at our final reading as I usually videotaped all my students then.) But Danan was not the type to share his private thoughts and was always extremely modest and humble. I over-stepped the bounds of that modesty by posting them here without permission because when I did locate them and reread them, I was struck by their literary excellence, their profundity, their beauty, and a deep sense of loss at their promise -- Danan was a beautiful soul as these poems expressed so exquisitely. His loss is immeasurable. In my role as professor, literary judge, grant panelist, editor and a former publisher of poetry I believed that they should be published and read by all as I believe they stand up to the best of what's out there today, particularly given his young age and stage of development at the time they were written. Danan came a long way as a writer in workshop, these last poems are a testament to what a tragic loss his passing is to all who loved him or was otherwise touched by him. We shared an interest in philosophy and I encouraged him in this track. I found the *presence* of him in these poems, and found that to be comforting to me, selfish though it was, and felt the need to pass that comfort to others who knew and loved him -- to those who are grieving now. To the Schufman family, and in particular, to his mother, please accept my sincere apologies. I can not imagine your grief. I know when my own mother was murdered, and when my father passed last year, any reminder, any mark, any trace, any word of them was precious, particularly anything they had written. I have an 11 year old son, my only child, and I know -- I can not imagine. I am so so sorry for your loss. Words are never enough.

I know these poems have been a comfort. I have received many emails of gratitude and comments to that effect. Many people are visiting this site searching for any word of him at all. Please keep him in your hearts, and deeds, Danan will be ever missed.

In the future, should the family desire, do not hesitate to contact me regarding his poems, and any future help in editing a collection of his writing for publication on any level or terms. I may be erasing this page in a few days if there is still a trace of it in google cache, but until then, I leave this for his many friends, family and loved ones to find. In particular, I would like to host a page with the ad that ran in the Daily Camera as it is so, so beautiful, and, a comfort. I just wished to keep something of him alive.

Again, my deepest regrets and apologies. I had assumed that they remained here with the knowledge and permission of the family. Of course, they were given to me, they are a copy to do with as I wish, to publish if I wish, and I wish to honor the wishes and concerns of the family -- and remove them.

Here's the email I sent to Danan's cousin last week along with the response that was sent to me:

Dear Lorna,

Thank You for your kind and sincere words of Danan. You described him BEAUTIFULLY!!!!!! I will definately pass on your condolences to his parents.

I will call you tommorrow afternoon (Tue 6-13) when I get into the Boulder area and let you know when a good time is to pick up his manuscript.


Lorna Cervantes wrote:
Dear XXX,

I am so very sorry for your loss. Please extend my deepest condolences
to the family, and to all whom he touched and befriended in his too
short life. Danan is remembered well and mourned by other faculty at CU
as well; he is remembered for being "gentle and patient", mature,
talented, highly intelligent and, I thought, wise beyond his years. He
was sensitive, polite and considerate, always tactful and helpful to
other student writers. I so remember that half-smile with which he
graced the world. I didn't know him real well or as deeply as I get to
know some students in Poetry Workshop, but I remembered him well. I
encouraged him in what he called "my more philosophical kind of poems"
which I found profound and stunning. Now, in the aftermath, they are
that, and more. It is such a tiny comfort to know that I have them and
was able to share them with those who loved him and with those whom he
loved. I didn't hesitate to type them up and post them, to publish them
in this manner -- as I felt as if he would have wanted it that way.

I would love nothing more than to pass his poems on to the family. I
have an 11 year old son, and I can imagine how very precious these
pages will be -- and comforting in some way. They portray a beautiful
soul. I posted them in order to, somehow, locate his family and pass
them on. They would make a moving eulogy. Thank you so very much for
contacting me and asking. I would hope that they would give the same
small comfort I received from the touching portrait of him that was
published in the paper yesterday -- I was so moved to see him honored
in this way. It's all so so sad. And, such a sad Fathers' Day -- and
yet, I know his parents must, also, feel blessed and proud to have
raised such a decent and beautiful man. He touched many in his all too
brief time -- I know that my website has been visited by dozens in
Boulder, Denver and other parts of the country searching for the tragic

I live at (snip)
I have a box that I leave on my front porch for students to pick up manuscripts, I
could leave the manuscript there if you wish, and you could get it at
any time at your convenience night or day. Or we can meet; there is a
coffee shop close to my house (snip)

I'll be looking around here and in my office on campus in case I have
more of his work. I know I wouldn't have thrown any of it away. I'll
let you know in case I do find more. I'll also try and type up some
more of the poems and maybe try to print them up nicely along with his
original typescript pages.

Please express my sincere condolences to the family in this very hard
time. Danan was a lovely *man* in his too short life. I know he will
always be missed.


Lorna Dee Cervantes

Associate Professor
English Department
UCB 226
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0226

(303) 492-4620 (office)



Blogger Sheryl said...

Sad news. But how wonderful that you have honored him here. I can't believe you keep all your students'
work!!! Wow. I loved the part about smelling wildflowers. I will smell them more deeply now.

10/6/06 10:01  
Blogger Antonia said...

the poems are awesome.

11/6/06 04:53  
Anonymous Spyware Removal said...

Friggin' brilliant!


11/6/06 14:08  
Blogger Anna Leifeste said...

I loved Danan very much, but knew him in a largely different capacity than you apparently did. it meant much to me to be able to read your beautiful tribute. thank you.

11/6/06 16:26  
Blogger Lance Hardpack said...

Thank you so much for sharing these poems. I will pass them on to his family and every friend who mourns his passing.

17/6/06 16:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, the 2 year anniversary of Danan's death finds me googling Danan, to find this sight still up. It comforts me to know that Danan lives on in the hearts of many and cyberspace too. Thank you to everyone for keeping him alive.

Danan's sister, Lindsey

3/6/08 11:25  
Blogger Alicia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/7/10 09:53  
Blogger Alicia said...

My condolences, is a nice tribute, I hope your famlies help your poetry does,and last but not least there is some
buy viagra that is a huge relief!
God bless!

6/7/10 09:54  

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