Maxine Kumin, who won the Nobel Prize for Poetry for 1973, was a busy poet snatching whatever she could from memories, things she’d read or experienced, popular culture, nature and creating a poetry of movement, words and sentences running into each other hanging uncompleted to take up where left off on the next line.
I feel she was at her best when she wrote about mortality, about living as a cycle in conjunction with other things, the planet, people, animals etc.
In some of her later poetry, once she had moved to a farm, I felt she lost it a bit. Advice to any city poet – Don’t start writing about the joys of rustic living unless you actually come from there. It’s a talent killer!
But enough criticism....She was an awesome poet. Here are two of my favorite poems by her
IN THE PARK – A big poem full of an understanding of what death, mortality means to us – The bear as death! http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15649
THE REVISIONIST DREAM – A very moving poem about Anne Sexton’s suicide (One of my favourite poets) http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoem.do?poemId=10338
BTW, I wrote about Anne Sexton here http://rajdronamraju.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/anne-sexton-and-the-stereotype-of-the-tortured-suicidal-artist/