Monday, May 01, 2006

Poets on divorce

"Although half of all American marriages end in divorce, poets are reluctant to write entire collections about it. John Updike addressed the topic obliquely in his 1977 collection Tossing and Turning, published the year he split with his first wife - and then remarried. At the time of her suicide in 1974, Anne Sexton had completed a new collection, 45 Mercy Street, a third of which touched on her recent divorce. 'I have killed our lives together,' she wrote hysterically in one poem, 'axed off each head.'
"Claudia Emerson's Late Wife is not so gory a glimpse into this grim rite of passage, but it is nothing if not complete. Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, the volume looks back on a relationship's demise, from the first serpent of doubt to the slow drift of spirits to the breakup and its final, bitter aftermath."
Read the rest of the Philadelphia Inquirer article here.

1 comment:

More Juice said...

I'm not sure that poets are reluctant to write about divorce, it's just that there is so much very, very, bad divorce poetry.

Except my collection of course