Biography of Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan is an American poet of Jewish background. She was born in New York on May 27, 1932. Today, she lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Ira Pastan, an accomplished physician and researcher.
She is known for writing short poems that address topics like family life, domesticity, motherhood, the female experience, aging, death, loss and the fear of loss, as well as the fragility of life and relationships.
Linda Pastan has published at least 12 books of poetry and a number of essays. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the 1986 Maurice English Poetry Award (for A Fraction of Darkness), the Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She also received the Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award.
Two of her collections of poems were nominated for the National Book Award and one for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
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Linda Pastan Poems
To A Daughter Leaving Home
When I taught you at eight to ride a bicycle, loping along beside you
My husband gives me an A for last night's supper, an incomplete for my ironing, a B plus in bed.
A New Poet
Finding a new poet is like finding a new wildflower out in the woods. You don't see
I want to write you a love poem as headlong as our creek after thaw
When our cars touched When you lifted the hood of mine To see the intimate workings underneath, When we were bound together
What We Want
What we want is never simple. We move among the things we thought we wanted:
Something About The Trees
I remember what my father told me: There is an age when you are most yourself. He was just past fifty then, Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
We think of hidden in a white dress among the folded linens and sachets of well-kept cupboards, or just out of sight sending jellies and notes with no address
The New Dog
Into the gravity of my life, the serious ceremonies of polish and paper and pen, has come
Home For Thanksgiving
The gathering family throws shadows around us, it is the late afternoon Of the family.
When they taught me that what mattered most was not the strict iambic line goose-stepping over the page but the variations in that line and the tension produced
Pierre Bonnard would enter the museum with a tube of paint in his pocket and a sable brush. Then violating the sanctity
The door of winter is frozen shut, and like the bodies
Because the shad are swimming in our waters now,
it was a pear
Why else the shape
of the womb,
or of the cello
Whose single song is grief
for the parent tree?
Why else the fruit itself
tawny and sweet
which your lover
lets go your pear-
to reach for?