In Memoriam

KuminMaxine Kumin died last month. Right until a month before her death, we carried on a sporadic correspondence. She was extremely gracious and generous to me, and I think somewhat under- recognized as a poet. ¬†Here’s one of my favorites of hers:

After Love

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership

The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar

and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when

the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self

lay lightly down, and slept.

Maxine Kumin

5 thoughts on “In Memoriam

  1. Did you ever talk about Anne?
    “the wolf, the mongering wolf”—boy, I really like that.

  2. We did talk about Anne, as I originally wrote to her about her poem, “Oblivion,” which is about the effect of suicide on those left behind. They were extremely close, and Anne Sexton’s suicide was very hard on Maxine. We also talked about our various experiences a couple of decades apart at Radcliffe, and our careers/farming/poetry.

  3. That is so cool. I love Anne and her mythic poetry and read everything I could get my hands on about her and through those biographies, became aware of Maxine. She really helped Anne out tremendously. I can relate to Anne’s manic fractured fairytales. No replacement really for good friends, none.

    1. Oh that was great! Thanks for sending it. Now that is friendship.
      It must have been wild and wonderful and terrifying. (Maybe sometimes infuriating)

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