Merton reads his curriculum vitae in his hermitage at Gethsemani, May 20th, 1967.



Merton reads his curriculum vitae in his hermitage at Gethsemani, May 20th, 1967.


Audio clip of Merton in his hermitage at Gethsemani, May 20, 1967





Recordings © Copyright of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University


Tape # 214, Track # 9 (excerpt)


Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968.
Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani (Trappist, Ky.)


Might as well read this curriculum vitae, which was written to go with that [Edward] Dahlberg poem in the festschrift. Since this is a mixed-up tape anyway, I might as well put every piece of junk on it.

Born in 1915 in Southern France a few miles from Catalonia so that I imagine myself by birth Catalan and am accepted as such in Barcelona where I have never been. Exiled therefore from Catalonia I came to New York, then went to Bermuda, then back to France, then to school at Montauban, then to school at Oakham in England, to Clare College Cambridge where my scholarship was taken away after a year of riotous living, to Columbia University New York where l earned two degrees of dullness and wrote a Master's thesis on Blake. I taught English among Franciscan football players at St Bonaventure University, and then became a Trappist monk at Gethsemani Ky in 1941. First published book of poems 1944. Autobiography 1948 created a general hallucination followed by too many pious books. Back to poetry in the fifties and sixties. Gradual backing away from the monastic institution until I now live alone in the woods not claiming to be anything except of course a Catalan. But a Catalan in exile who would not return to Barcelona under any circumstances, never having been there. Recently published Raids on the Unspeakable, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Mystics and Zen Masters, have translated work of poets like Vallejo, Alberti, Hernandez, Nicanor Parra etc. Proud of facial resemblance to Picasso and/or Jean Genet or alternately Henry Miller (though not so much Miller).



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