[MGSA-L] Edmund (Mike) Keeley

Yannis Simonides yannis.simonides at gmail.com
Wed Feb 23 09:40:01 PST 2022

Colleagues and I are mourning the colleague, mentor, friend and inspiration of a lifetime. May his legacy of boundless creativity, humor, humility and love inform us in all we do going forward

> On Feb 23, 2022, at 7:17 PM, Dimitri H. Gondicas <gondicas at princeton.edu> wrote:
> Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
> Dear colleagues and friends,
> With profound sadness, I am writing to let you know that Edmund (Mike) Keeley passed away this morning. He was 94. 
> Mike Keeley’s legacy is immense, diverse, far-reaching and lasting.  Preeminent scholar and translator of modern Greek literature, Mike was one of the founding fathers of the MGSA and its first President.  Mike Keeley founded and led Princeton’s Creative Writing program for many years.  As President of the PEN American Center, Mike was a champion of writers’ rights around the world.  
> At Princeton, Mike Keeley was a founder and pillar of Hellenic Studies, ever since we launched our journey in 1979.  Without Mike, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  For all of us in Hellenic Studies who had the privilege to know him, Mike was our teacher, mentor, colleague, comrade in all things Greek, fellow traveler all over Greece, and steadfast friend.  Until his last hours, Mike kept asking about Hellenic Studies and our plans for the future.
> We are working on an obituary and other arrangements to remember and honor Mike Keeley’s life and legacy. 
> Mike was very happy to share with the world his last poem, “Daylight,” chosen by the “Hudson Review” for their holiday card 2022:
> https://hudsonreview.com/2021/07/daylight/#.YhZbq-jMLIU
> by Edmund Keeley
> Our plague has various names
> None as blunt as the Black Death
> Of the Middle Ages yet still as dark
> Unless you can somehow believe that light
> From a flash of final recognition
> Or anticipated otherworldly dawn
> Will always arrive before the end
> To mute the horror of so much dying
> And your own waiting for what might come.
> So why wait any longer,
> Why not leave it all to Nemesis
> And take a long walk outside
> In whatever direction holds the prospect
> Of your recovering things to remember
> From those lighter years in open spaces
> That shore beside an endless sea
> The white mornings to lie in wonder
> After the beautiful dark passages
> Of nightlong loving and the dividends
> Of having held another beyond
> Any belief that it could possibly end.
> In sorrow for our loss, but also in celebration and gratitude for Mike’s life, his friendship and his gifts to our Hellenic Studies community,
> With kind wishes to all,
> Dimitri Gondicas
> _______________________________________________
> List-Info: https://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/mgsa-l
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