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Friday, January 08, 2010

Poetry Friday--Linda McCarriston

I hadn't heard of Linda McCarriston before this week when I found a skinny paperback, pushed almost out of sight, between two hardcover books of poetry.

The book, Eva-Mary [811 MCC], revealed to me that Linda McCarriston was a poet of some renown--the cover of Eva-Mary sports a National Book Award Finalist silver sticker. Like a curious crow, I am attracted by shiny things!

Whoa! The poems inside are not cool and shiny--they are hot--they don't shine, they blaze. I'll only share the first stanza from this one, called "Hotel Nights with My Mother":
The hometown flophouse
was what she could afford
the nights he came after us
with a knife. I'd grab my books,
already dreading the next day's
explanations of homework undone
--I ran out of paper--the lies
I'd invent standing in front of
the nuns in clothes I'd lain in
full-bladdered all night, a flimsy
chair-braced door between us
and the hallway's impersonal riot.
If you want to read the rest, come down to the library and borrow the book (I'm sorry I couldn't find a copy online).

I'm glad I looked inside Eve-Mary, it reminded me, once again, to view people with a more sympathetic eye--you never know what's going on in their lives.

McCarriston was interviewed by Bill Moyers back in 2002. The transcript can be found here.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up this week is being hosted at one of my favorite blogs, The Miss Rumphius Effect. Be sure to check it out!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for bringing this book out into the light to shine!

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  2. Thanks for your post today. Wow, in reading this one. I read the Moyers transcript, too. Great discussion about what poetry is/does. I'm adding Linda McCarriston to my reading list.

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  3. Anonymous9:05 PM

    Studdied with Linda. Awesome life experience

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