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Peter Dufault

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Peter Dufault Obituary
Peter Kane Dufault

1923 - 2013 GREAT BARRINGTON Peter Kane Dufault was born on April 22, 1923, and grew up in Westchester County, N.Y.

After serving three years as a bomber pilot in World War II, he graduated from Harvard University in 1947.

He was variously employed as tree surgeon, pollster, teacher and soccer coach at the Barlow School in Amenia, N.Y., and as editor of the Catskill Daily Mail. In 1968, he was a candidate for US Congress, running on the Liberal party's anti-Vietnam war platform.

Acclaimed author and poet, he wrote many pastoral verses on Columbia County scenery and wildlife. The first of his books of verse was published in 1954. Poems have appeared in many magazines, including the New Yorker, London Magazine and Poetry, and anthologies, including the 1996 Norton Anthology.

He is remembered for his live recitations and was twice the Visiting Poet at the Cheltenham Festival, in England, toured Ireland as Visiting Poet with Poetry Ireland, and was a visiting critic in poetry at Williams College. He also peppered the political landscape with such phrases as "sawdust president" and "making vaudeville of the law."

He was known locally as a fiddler, banjo-player and dance-caller with the Kitchen Kaylie Band. He was also the "Greenpeace Piper," playing bagpipes garbed in full Scottish attire in exchange for donations to Greenpeace. Peter was the subject of the documentary film, "What I Meant To Tell You," which premiered at the Berkshire International Film Festival in 2010.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Dufault; sister, Claire Wilson of Wellesley; his three sons, Scott, Mark and Ethan, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


One white hush the whole day.

No wind. Just endless in-

exorable cliche,

the same old stuff again

and again . . . . We need old stuff

sometimes. As in liturgy.

Or a declaration of love.

No frills, just infinity.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Apr. 28, 2013
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