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Marilyn Hacker


Quotations

  • ''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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Invocation

This is for Elsa, also known as Liz,
an ample-bosomed gospel singer: five
discrete malignancies in one full breast.
This is for auburn Jacqueline, who is
celebrating fifty years alive,
one since she finished chemotherapy.
with fireworks on the fifteenth of July.
This is for June, whose words are lean and mean
as she is, elucidating our protest.

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