Saturday, December 12, 2020

 I've heard from what others have posted that the late Lyn Lifshin, a very good poet I've read for sometime, has passed away. I haven't located more details, but I will offer instead that she was a wonderful lyric poet, with sharp observation shown in spare but powerful images, with a frame of mind to observe, contemplate and find parallels between ideas and objects that  wouldn't inhabit the same sentence. 

Her poetry was not skeletal, not minimalist, it had rhythm , pace , a real pulse , but it was not cluttered; her best poems had the remarkable resonance of one those things a friend says to you in passing, a story, a notion, something that  was observed, something actually uttered , which had the accidental genius of having the right words for an idea that could just as easily been talked to death. Lifshin was a remarkable poet, and we are poorer both as readers and poets alike for the loss of her. 

Two poems:


that afternoon an

unreal amber

light 4 o'clock the

quietness of

oil February blue

bowls full of

oranges we were

spreading honey, butter

on new bread our

skin nearly touching

Even the dark wood glowed


A woman goes into the subway,

and for what reason

disappears behind rails

and is never heard from again.

We don't understand this.

She could have gone to the museum,

had cappuccino with a lover.

But instead has gone down the

escalator, without i.d., or

even a ticket and not 

for clothes or flowers. It was

a grey humid day,

very much like today.

It was today. Now you might

imagine I'm that woman, it 

seems there are reasons.

But listen, I don't live

anywhere near that metro stop

and who I am is already

camouflaged behind

velvet and leather

No comments:

Post a Comment