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Archive for September 25th, 2010

Hard To Live With

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“I can freely leave an unfinished free-verse poem to prepare a meal, sleep, have a drink with friends, but a formal poem follows me everywhere, makes me hard to live with, and gives me pleasure approaching the ecstatic.”

17It’s far from the first time when I’ve noticed a great woman poet being overlooked, but it’s still odd to find Mona Van Duyn MIA from my personal library’s copy of A Book of Women Poets from Antiquity to Now , edited by Aliki and Willis Barnstone. Like, sure she wasn’t honored as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress until 1992, the year of the book’s most recent publication. But come on, she had won solid recognition of her work soon enough to have been given at least a few pages, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1991 for her 1990 book, Near Changes. How much higher must a woman poet aim to merit the kind of sincere respect and understanding for her work she can truly value . . . or if not that, at least a glance from a collector of poetry written by a woman?!

So anyway, poetry by Mona Van Duyn on websites I care to visit (i.e., those not overloaded with spurious ad-related content) include the following poems –

(Footnote: Seems that the selections here that I’m pulling from Google Books are as whimsically volatile as fresh memories – sometimes one poem is showing while another is not; next time I pull the book up to read, those are likely switched. It’s Google, so go figure. Anyway, while I have a copy of a poem from Google books up and readable, I’m transcribing it over into my local files, where those poems for which I have a local copy are indicated in this list by a filled-in box (versus an open circle). Eventually, I’ll purchase a book or more of hers – I do deeply feel her style and voice moving inside – but for now, this will have to do me.)

“The end
of passion
may refashion
a friend”

Update (16 Apr 2015) — This post was originally placed in polymath as of the date given to this re-posting here at aftermath. Since then, I have added several Van Duyn books to my own personal library.

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Written by macheide

25 September 2010 at 8:52 am

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