Linda Pastan


De Amerikaanse dichteres Linda Pastan werd geboren op 27 mei 1932 in New York. Zij studeerde af aan Radcliffe College en behaalde een MA aan Brandeis University. Van 1991-1995 was zij Poet Laureate van Maryland. Tot haar meest recente dichtbundels behoren: “Insomnia”, “Traveling Light” en “Queen of a Rainy Country”. Pastan heeft minstens 12 dichtbundels en een aantal essays gepubliceerd. Zij ontving o.a. de Dylan Thomas Award, een Pushcart Prize, de Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), de Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), de 1986 Maurice English Poetry Award (voor “A Fraction of Darkness”), de Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, de Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize 2003 en de Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award. Twee van haar dichtbundels werden genomineerd voor de National Book Award en één voor de Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Linda Pastan is de moeder drie kinderen, waaronder de schrijfster Rachel Pastan.



I remember when my body
was a friend,

when sleep like a good dog
came when summoned.

The door to the future
had not started to shut,

and lying on my back
between cold sheets

did not feel
like a rehearsal.

Now what light is left
comes up-- a stain in the east,

and sleep, reluctant
as a busy doctor,

gives me a little
of its time.




You gave me dandelions.
They took our lawn
by squatters’ rights—
round suns rising
in April, soft moons
blowing away in June.
You gave me lady slippers,
bloodroot, milkweed,
trillium whose secret number
the children you gave me
tell. In the hierarchy
of flowers, the wild
rise on their stems
for naming.
Call them weeds.
I pick them as I
picked you,
for their fierce,
unruly joy.



The New Dog

Into the gravity of my life,
the serious ceremonies
of polish and paper
and pen, has come

this manic animal
whose innocent disruptions
make nonsense
of my old simplicities--

as if I needed him
to prove again that after
all the careful planning,
anything can happen.


Linda Pastan (New York, 27 mei 1932)

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