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“God serves the choosy. They know what to want ...”
“I took the lake between my legs.”
“One way of ending the poem is to turn it back on itself, like a serpent with its tail in its mouth.”
“Nature is a catchment of sorrows.”
“It is important to act as if bearing witness matters.”
“To write about the monstrous sense of alienation the poet feels in this culture of polarized hatreds is a way of staying sane. With the poem, I reach out to an audience equally at odds with official policy, and I celebrate our mutual humanness in an inhuman world.”
“The camel's a mammal / who grouches and grumps. / I think that he wishes / he didn't have humps.”
“My writing time needs to surround itself with empty stretches, or at least unpeopled ones, for the writing takes place in an area of suspension as in a hanging nest that is almost entirely encapsulated.”
“When I'm scooped out of here / all things animal / and unsurprised will carry on. / Frogs still will fall into / those stained old tubs we fill / with trickles from the garden hose. / Another blue-green prince will sit / like a friend of the family / guarding the downspout. / Him asquat at the drainhole, / me gone to crumbs in the ground / and someone else's mare to call / to the distant stallion.”
“... I didn't write my poems because I wanted to, they were wrung from me. I had to write them.”
Maxine Kumin, U.S. poet, writer
Full name: Maxine Winokur Kumin.