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Maxine Kumin

  • God serves the choosy. They know what to want ...

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • in Harper's Magazine ()
  • I took the lake between my legs.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • "Morning Swim," The Privilege ()
  • 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.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • "A Way of Staying Sane," in Marilyn Sewell, ed., Cries of the Spirit ()
  • 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.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • "A Way of Staying Sane," in Marilyn Sewell, ed., Cries of the Spirit ()
  • The camel's a mammal / who grouches and grumps. / I think that he wishes / he didn't have humps.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • in L.B. Hopkins, ed., To the Zoo: Animal Poems ()
  • 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.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • in Jack Heffron, ed., The Best Writing on Writing, vol. 2 ()
  • 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.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • "A Mortal Day of No Surprises," The Retrieval System: Poems ()
  • ... I didn't write my poems because I wanted to, they were wrung from me. I had to write them.

    • Maxine Kumin,
    • in The Christian Science Monitor ()

Maxine Kumin, U.S. poet, writer

(1925)

Full name: Maxine Winokur Kumin.