Xtraordinary Linda Pastan – A Domestic Woman Poet

I actually met Linda Pastan on Zoom! We were part of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. I didn’t know she’s famous. She had had a poem published in the New Yorker, but was having trouble finding it online. I Googled it and put it in the chat.

When she passed away recently, I read her poems. She took a pause from poetry after marriage, and kids. Then her husband encouraged her to get back to writing. Here’s a lovely poem of hers –


In this kingdom 

the sun never sets; 

under the pale oval 

of the sky 

there seems no way in 

or out, 

and though there is a sea here 

there is no tide.

For the egg itself 

is a moon 

glowing faintly 

in the galaxy of the barn, 

safe but for the spoon’s 

ominous thunder, 

the first delicate crack 

of lightning.

It’s amazing how Pastan can infuse a prosaic egg with such poetry. I love the second verse. I like the tactile quality she gives to lightning with ‘crack.’

At the Equestrian Museum

I want to be that dark woman

on horseback, gripping the vast animal

between my knees, until I become

a part of the horse

myself, the pounding

of hoofbeats one

with the pounding

pulse in my ears,

the smell in my nostrils

nothing but horse.

I want to learn

in my bones

how a centaur can be

less myth than dream –

that old galloping dream

where I have spurs

at my ears for jewels,

my hair and the horse’s tail

streaking behind

in a slipstream

of our own furious making.

I want to be more

than human flesh,

more than paint,

for this is not simply

Night Journey on Horseback

but a way of riding,

Of riding the speeding

galaxy, bareback

farther and farther

from home.

I just love this poem and want to make it my anthem. This poem, ‘Arithmetic Lesson: Infinity,’ is also great. I wrote one on teaching my child the alphabet.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge 2023.

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