Spring 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 2 Poetry |

The Poet Contemplates the Intensity of Her Emotions

The marriage counselor suggested the poet attempt to gauge the intensity of her emotions. Like extreme weather, volatile emotion has the ability to threaten the stability of any field. The poet suggested (she was argumentative) that if she was not moved when the kindergarteners sang "My Country, 'Tls of Thee" facing the American flag (she was not patriotic), if the woman on the subway mumbling to herself did not provoke memories of her relatives lost in the war, if snow building on the cornices of the library did not excite her, how could she be expected to believe in the longevity of passion? If she did not awaken some snow-swept mornings filled with such longing for connection that sometimes the only thing to sway her out of bed was to boil the water for the oatmeal and prepare her child for school, then how would she know when she was happy? (Did the marriage counselor really suggest she hide her despair? Aren't secrets forbidden?) The winter has been col

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Jill Bialosky is the author of three volumes of poetry. Her most recent collection is Intruder. She is the author of two novels, House Under Snow and The Life Room, and a New York Times best-selling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life.

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By Jill Bialosky

The marriage counselor suggested the poet attempt to gauge the intensity of her emotions. Like extreme weather, volatile emotion has the ability to threaten the stability of any field. The […]

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