Ellen Bryant Voigt
Ellen Bryant Voigt (born 1943) is an American poet. She has published six collections of poetry and a collection of craft essays. Her poetry collection Shadow of Heaven (2002) was a finalist for the National Book Award and Kyrie (1995) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poetry has been published in several national publications. She served as the Poet Laureate of Vermont for four years and in 2003 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Voigt grew up in Virginia, graduated from Converse College, and received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She has taught at M.I.T. and Goddard College where in 1976 she developed and directed the... more »
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Ellen Bryant Voigt Poems
Whenever my mother, who taught small children forty years, asked a question, she already knew the answer.
Up there on the mountain road, the fireworks blistered and subsided, for once at eye level: spatter of light like water flicked from the fingers; the brief emergent pattern; and after the afterimage bled
To weep unbidden, to wake at night in order to weep, to wait for the whisker on the face
At the Movie: Virginia, 1956
This is how it was: they had their own churches, their own schools, schoolbuses, football teams, bands and majorettes, separate restaurants, in all the public places
A Marriage Poem
Morning: the caged baby sustains his fragile sleep. The house is a husk against weather. Nothing stirs—inside, outside.
Comments about Ellen Bryant Voigt
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Whenever my mother, who taught
small children forty years,
asked a question, she
already knew the answer.
"Would you like to" meant
you would. "Shall we" was
another, and "Don't you think."
As in "Don't you think
it's time you cut your hair."
So when, in the bare room,
in the strict bed, she said,
"You want to see?" her hands
were busy at her neckline,
untying the robe, not looking
down at it, stitches
bristling where the breast
had been, but straight at me.
I did what I always did:
not weep --she never wept--
and made my face a ...