Miller Williams, American poet and my professor in College at Loyola University of the South in the late Sixties, passed away recently. I was thinking recently about my writing, both poetry and otherwise, and remembered what he used to say: "Every word you add dilutes the meaning". He believed in simple, conversational tone, and realized that most meaning derived by a reader comes from their own heart; not from a bunch of words. He also was a gentle soul, and hated war and violence. We once spent two weeks analyzing a single poem, Randall Jarrell's "Death of the Ball Turret Gunner", the last line of which stays with me today: "When he died, they washed him out of the turret with a hose". Miller Williams didn't teach me how to write. He taught me how to live.