Marilyn Hacker


Marilyn Hacker Quotes

  • ''Poetry seems to have been eliminated as a literary genre, and installed instead, as a kind of spiritual aerobic exercise—nobody need read it, but anybody can do it.''
    Marilyn Hacker (b. 1942), U.S. poet and editor. As quoted in A Gift That Cannot be Refused, ch. 7, by Mary Biggs (1990). Said in 1983.
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  • ''The woman poet must be either a ... sexless, reclusive eccentric, with nothing to say specifically to women, or a brilliant, tragic, tortured suicide.''
    Marilyn Hacker (b. 1942), U.S. poet and editor. As quoted in How to Suppress Women's Writing, ch. 6, by Joanna Russ (1983). Said on November 2, 1976. The lesbian feminist poet was commenting on the small amount of attention given to Muriel Rukeyser's collected poems, as compared with the much greater amount given to Marianne Moore (the "eccentric") and Sylvia Plath (the "suicide").

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Year's End

for Audre Lorde and Sonny Wainwright

Twice in my quickly disappearing forties
someone called while someone I loved and I were
making love to tell me another woman had died of cancer.

Seven years apart, and two different lovers:
underneath the numbers, how lives are braided,
how those women's death and lives, lived and died, were

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