Linda Pastan

Linda Pastan is the author of numerous books of poetry including Traveling Light (Norton & Co, 2011). Her fourteenth collection, Insomnia, is forthcoming. She has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly prize for lifetime achievement.

Jan/Feb 2015

Elegy

By Linda Pastan

Our final dogwood leans over the forest floor offering berries to the birds, the squirrels. It’s a relic of the days when dogwoods flourished—creamy lace in April, spilled milk in […]

Winter 2006

Alphabet Song

By Linda Pastan

Like a train made up of 26 boxcars,the alphabet drags such a heavy cargodown the tracks, such strange,compelling combinations that we are left breathless, admiringa world constructed of wordsand sentences […]

Summer 2000

The Crossing

By Linda Pastan

I wake to the small applause of rain, then sleep again and somewhere between dusk and dawn a curtain falls and rises. My dreams carry me on their shifting backs […]

Spring 1998

The Death of the Bee

By Linda Pastan

The death of wild bee populations has become widespread. . .                     NEWS REPORT The biography of the bee is written in honey and is drawing to a close. Soon the […]

Spring 1998

43rd Anniversary

By Linda Pastan

I am plotting our life again, here at the start of what must be its final act. I am choosing new scenery: antique rugs and clocks; new characters–even a dog […]

Winter 1991

At Gettysburg

By Linda Pastan

These fields can never besimply themselves. Their greenseems such a tender green,their contours so significantto the tourists who stare towards the far range of mountainsas if they are listeningto the […]

Winter 1991

Bed

By Linda Pastan

In the confused nights, when I wakeshaken by dreams, sometimesI don’t know which bed I’m inin the long procession of beds that movelike Saints’ Day floats before my eyes. Look! […]

Winter 1991

Guilt

By Linda Pastan

Stepchildof the imagination,it roams the gardensour mothers planted,picking thorned rosesfor the bedsidesof the adulterers, watering tea leavesfor the cupsof bitterness that keep us sleeplessthrough the unforgivingnights.

Fall 1989

The Happiest Day

By Linda Pastan

It was early May, I think a moment of lilac or dogwood when so many promises are made it hardly matters if a few are broken. My mother and father […]

Fall 1989

An Old Song

By Linda Pastan

How loyal our childhood demons are, growing old with us in the same house like servants who season the meat with bitterness, like jailers who rattle the keys that lock […]

At Gettysburg

By Linda Pastan

From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring 1991, Vol. XIII, No. 2 These fields can never be simply themselves. Their green seems such a tender green, their contours so significant […]