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Marilyn Hacker

Marilyn Hacker is the author of more than fourteen books of poems, including most recently Calligraphies (Norton, 2023). She has received several honors, including the Robert Fagles Translation Prize for Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen (FSG, 2008), the Bernard F. Conners Prize from the Paris Review, and the John Masefield Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America.


This Particular Tartar

I. This particular Tartar is waiting beside a side road. He’s been squatting and moping there for a while. He would rather wait there than beside the highway with cars rushing by at full speed. They splatter you with mud without a thought. The [...]

A Braid of Garlic

Winter 2009 | Poetry

Aging women mourn while they go to market,
buy fish, figs, tomatoes, enough today to
feed the wolf asleep underneath the table
who wakes from what dream?

The Mimesis of Thought: On Adrienne Rich’s Poetry

Spring 2006 | Essays

Rich’s body of work establishes, among other things, an intellectual autobiography, which is interesting not as the narrative of one life (which it’s not) and still less as intimate divulgence, but as the evolution and revolutions of an exceptional mind, with all its curiosity, outreaching, exasperation and even its errors. (I don’t know why, in 1968, she thought Montaigne should “rot in hell.” He was, like her, not unfamiliar with intellectuals under house arrest or worse.) Even while Rich was most insistent (and I, her reader, insistent with her) on her particularity as a woman, and an American woman, and on the historical overdetermination of women’s experiences and supposed limitations, she was insisting as well, perhaps less intentionally, and the more successfully for that, that a woman’s intellectual/political/aesthetic development could provide the emblematic narrative for a generation. Could, like the richly referenced self-examinations of, yes, Montaigne, also provide that emblematic narrative for generations to come. It may be difficult in 2006 to realize how revolutionary such an intellectual stance was thirty years ago.

Ghazal: Waiting

Winter 2006 | Poetry

What follows when imagination’s not inspired by waiting, body and spirit rendered sick and tired by waiting? Wrinkles, stock market losses, abcessed teeth, rejection slips: some of the benefits acquired by waiting. Taught from childhood that pati [...]

The Shadow at Cabourg

Summer 2005 | Poetry

1 Once dusk has dimmed this could be a film studio At the foot of a long parallelepiped bearing the legend Grand Hotel an assortment of scenery : children’s day-camps, beach bars a patch of parasols their blue-striped petals folded around their st [...]