Definition #90 Poetry


 “I love poetry that feels as it thinks.” That’s Dorianne Laux, born in Augusta, Maine (1952)

She grew up poor in San Diego, barely making it through school. Her stepfather abused her throughout her childhood and teenage years, and through it all she wrote poems. She said: “I wouldn’t have gotten through that without a friend. If I hadn’t been able to talk with myself, with respect, as a whole human being, who had a mind and heart and desires, a goodness, a desire to be good — you know, all of those things,

 She didn’t think she would ever make a living from poetry, but she started giving readings and publishing poems, and published her first book, Awake (1990). She said: “You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. That was not something I thought would ever happen.” She wrote four more books of poetry, including What We Carry (1994) and The Book of Men (2011).

And, “Any good poem is asking you simply to slow down.”


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