American Life in Poetry: Column 149

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Elsewhere in this newspaper you may find some advice for maintaining and repairing troubled relationships. Here, in a poem by Linda Pastan of Maryland, is one of those relationships in need of some help.

The Quarrel

If there were a monument
to silence, it would not be
the tree whose leaves
murmur continuously
among themselves;

nor would it be the pond
whose seeming stillness
is shattered
by the quicksilver
surfacing of fish.

If there were a monument
to silence, it would be you
standing so upright, so unforgiving,
your mute back deflecting
every word I say.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2007 by Linda Pastan, whose most recent book of poetry is “Queen of a Rainy Country,” W. W. Norton & Co., 2006 . Reprinted from “Solo Cafe 2: Oppression & Forgiveness,” Vol. 2, Solo Press, 2007, by permission of Linda Pastan. Introduction copyright (c) 2007 by The Poetry Foundation.  The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.  We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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~ by ericedits on February 3, 2008.

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