Friday, July 13, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Kumin

Happy Poetry Friday! When you're done here, don't forget the Poetry Friday round-up over at Chicken Spaghetti.

I have to say I really enjoy hunting around on for new poetry. Today, I followed their link for "Cowboy Poetry" and from there a link to the poet Maxine Kumin.

Consider this poem about her guilt over letting go of a good horse:
by Maxine Kumin

How pleasant the yellow butter
melting on white kernels, the meniscus
of red wine that coats the insides of our goblets

where we sit with sturdy friends as old as we are
after shucking the garden's last Silver Queen
and setting husks and stalks aside for the horses

the last two of our lives, still noble to look upon:
our first foal, now a bossy mare of 28
which calibrates to 84 in people years

and my chestnut gelding, not exactly a youngster
at 22. Every year, the end of summer
lazy and golden, invites grief and regret...

Go here for the rest of the poem.

And then consider going here to read and listen to Kumin's "Woodchucks," which takes a somewhat humorous, somewhat grisly look at the determination of the poet to get rid of varmints in her garden. The poem begins: "Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right." If you read it as I did, you will laugh and then you will wince.

If the phrase "Cowboy Poetry" intrigues you, use this link for a description of Cowboy Poetry. By the way, based on this description I don't think either of the two Kumin poems I point out are part of the Cowboy Poetry genre.

And here is a Brief bibliography/bio of Maxine Kumin.


Mary Lee said...

I love Maxine Kumin's poetry and other writing. I've heard her read the woodchuck poem, but somehow had never heard or read Jack. Heartbreaking. Reminds me of The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost and makes me think of lost opportunities...things I let slip and shouldn't have...

Nancy said...

Thanks for the comment Mary Lee. I'd never read either poem before. I love finding new (to me) poets!