Poetry Foundation -Maxine Kumin (1925–2014)
Angels from streets of gold
benignly looked on this,
God’s wonders to behold.
Both sides stood by unhorsed
while Nature ran its course.
Read the poem “Going to Jerusalem” by Maxine Kumin (Paris Review) (see a nice photo montage)
From story: ” …Ms. Sexton’s suicide shook Ms. Kumin deeply. “A month after your death I wear your blue jacket,” she wrote in a poem, “How It Is.” It continues:
The dog at the center of my life recognizes
you’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.
In the left pocket, a hole.
In the right, a parking ticket
delivered up last August on Bay State Road.
In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,
a flinging from the pods of the soul. ”
Maxine Kumin dies at 88
Ms. Kumin’s style defied tidy categorization. Though her poems and essays centered on the New England countryside, she trafficked in none of the sentimental effusions of traditional pastoral poets. Her dark, ironic poem “Highway Hypothesis” made clear just what she thought of such unexamined romanticizing:
Bucophilia, I call it —
nostalgia over a pastoral vista —
where for all I know the farmer
who owns it or rents it just told his
wife he’d kill her if she left him and
she did and he did and now here come
the auctioneer, the serious bidders
and an ant-train of gawking onlookers.