Poet of the Week – Heather McHugh

I was struck by this poem by McHugh, reproduced on MPR’s Writer’s Almanac site this morning:

“Blue Streak”

During the twentieth century chance
was the form we adored — you had to
generate it by machine. Kisses came
in twisted foil, we quickened the clock
with digitalis, invented the pacemaker
in case we fell in love. The whiz kids
were our only ancestors; the buzz saw,
working west, had left its mark.
My children, this is history:
we made it; millions counted;
one-of-a-kind was a lie; and the poets,
who should have spoken for us, were busy
panning landscapes, gunning
their electrics, going
I I I I I .

Once, years ago, I got a postcard from Ms. McHugh complimenting me on a poem of mine she had read, which stunned me into not even making sending her a polite postcard reply/thanks. Anyhow, more about Heather McHugh:

Academy of American Poets page with links to bios and a number of poems online
∙ Ms. McHugh’s own, more modest site
∙ Two interesting poems in the Connecticut Review’s site, though the formatting is bad
∙ A portion of a longer, more philosophical work in How(ever)
∙ As always, don’t forget to buy her books

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