When my husband worked there
we were given the use of the pool;
afternoons I would bring my first son
to kill time, not going in much myself,
like the patients too crippled to swim.
Slumped among mothers, I tried
to join in their talk; my voice creak [...]
You're late, they said, when she finally showed up.
So she told them all her excuses: the weather,
the detours, the shoes that didn't fit.
She went on and on, through bells, classes and lunch.
Now you're not tardy, they told her, you're absent.
But i [...]
Lady, I should have watered
your garden—your thyme, your sage—
but I was drained.
Too many feeders I couldn't keep filling,
the birds drifting slowly away . . .
too many half-used little houses
nailed up, abandoned—
meanwhile tending my se [...]
The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. Chicago. $20.00.
Howard Nemerov is surely one of the most accomplished and distinguished poets of his generation. Sceptical, erudite, speculative, he has a broad range and highly polished craft, writing mostly [...]
The Dream of a Common Language. By Adrienne Rich. Norton. $9.95.
Adrienne Rich began her seventh volume of poems, Diving Into the Wreck (1973), with a quote from George Eliot: "There is no private life which is not determined by a wider public [...]
In those days I tried to get warmth from the stars,
when the sun was around all along.
Home is where the tension is released.
Maybe the past was sweet, I just can't recall it.
Yet the sun was around all along.
Measure life from survival, not from per [...]
Above the River: The Complete Poems. By James Wright. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/New England. $27.95.
Since his death in 1980, James Wright has been the subject of many tributes by fellow poets. Donald Hall introduces this long-awaited volume and say [...]