Archive for January 3rd, 2019

America’s most underrated poet? Maybe so…

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Obviously, this poet is a she, not he. That’s one strike against her in the poetic sweepstakes for the “greats.”  Moreover, her poetry smacks more of the nineteenth century than the twentieth, with its formal diction and meticulous (yet seemingly breezy, offhand) iambic pentameter lines – but not, surely not, in their crazy amorous abandon.

The pages below were brought to my attention by poet and translator A.M. Juster on Twitter. Most educated poetry-lovers will know the graceful, sensual sonnets below, and recognize the poet who made her reputation and hit her stride in the 1920s and died, far too young, in the 1950s.

I will not say who it is, but let you guess. That will give you now the chance to explore her poems as I did, beginning at age sixteen, rolling luscious lines like these over my tongue as I wandered through Michigan’s wintertime woods, thinking I wished a larger life than the one I had. Nor will I post her picture … but her slippers are at right. You can read more about her here.

Postscripted thought: I think I like poems #2 and #3 the best – in retrospect should have put them on top! But perhaps in this sequence – the sequence of the collection – they tell a story…