Josephine Miles

(1911-1985 / Chicago, Illinois)

Josephine Miles
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Josephine Miles (June 11, 1911 – May 12, 1985) was an American poet and literary critic; the first woman to be tenured in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She wrote over a dozen books of poetry and several works of criticism.

Born in Chicago in 1911, her family moved when she was young to Southern California. Due to a disabling arthritis, she was educated at home by tutors, but was able to graduate from Los Angeles High School in a class which included the composer John Cage.

Miles attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature before moving to the University of California, ... more »

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Best Poem of Josephine Miles

Figure

A poem I keep forgetting to write
Is about the stars,
How I see them in their order
Even without the chair and bear and the sisters,
In their astronomic presence of great space,
And how beyond and behind my eyes they are moving,
Exploding to spirals under extremest pressure.
Having not mathematics, my head
Bursts with anguish of not understanding.

The poem I forget to write is bursting fragments
Of a tortured victim, far from me
In his galaxy of minds bent upon him,
In the oblivion of his headline status
Crumpled and exploding as incomparable
As a ...

Read the full of Figure

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