Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Biography of Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Alicia Suskin Ostriker (born November 11, 1937) is an American poet and scholar who writes Jewish feminist poetry.She was called "America's most fiercely honest poet," by Progressive.
Ostriker was born in Brooklyn, New York to David Suskin and Beatrice Linnick Suskin. Her father worked for New York City Parks Department. Her mother read her Shakespeare and Browning, and Alicia began writing poems, as well as drawing, from an early age. Initially, she had hoped to be an artist and studied art as a teenager. Her books, Songs (1969) and A Dream of Springtime (1979), spotlight her own illustrations. Ostriker went to high school at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in 1955.
She holds a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University (1959), and an M.A. (1961) and Ph.D. (1964) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.Her doctoral dissertation, on the work of William Blake, became her first book, Vision and Verse in William Blake (1965) later, she edited and annotated Blake's complete poems for Penguin Press. Alicia is married to the noted astronomer Jeremiah Ostriker who taught at Princeton University (1971–2001). Based in New York City, she currently teaches poetry at Drew University's Low-Residency MFA Program in poetry and poetry in translation.
Alicia Suskin Ostriker Poems
Wrinkly Lady Dancer
Going to be an old wrinkly lady Going to be one of those frail rag people Going to have withered hands and be Puzzled to tears crossing the street
The Leaf Pile
Now here is a typical children's story that happens in gorgeous October when the mothers are coming
I am not lyric any more I will not play the harp for your pleasure
The downward turning touch the cry of time fire falling without sound plunge my hand in the wound
Sonnet. To Tell the Truth
To tell the truth, those brick Housing Authority buildings For whose loveliness no soul had planned, Like random dominoes stood, worn out and facing each other, Creating the enclosure that was our home.
Some claim the origin of song was a war cry some say it was a rhyme telling the farmers when to plant and reap
Soften and Melt
the man made me soften and melt said the old woman the bee made me shiver like a rag said the dark red tulip
Boil over—it's what the nerves do, Watch them seethe when stimulated, Murmurs the man at the stove To the one at the fridge—
The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip...
To be blessed said the old woman is to live and work
The optimists among us taking heart because it is spring skip along attending their meetings
—for David Lehman Ten thousand saw I at a glance Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. —William Wordsworth
In Every Life
In every life there's a moment or two when the self disappears, the cruel wound takes over, and then again at times we are filled with sky
The History of America
—for Paul Metcalf A linear projection: a route. It crosses The ocean in many ships. Arriving in the new Land, it cuts through and down forests and it
The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz
As if there could be a world Of absolute innocence In which we forget ourselves
The downward turning touch
the cry of time
fire falling without sound
plunge my hand in the wound
children marching and dying
all that I do is a crime
because I do not reach
their mouths silently crying