Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

Dear Colette - Poem by Erica Jong

Dear Colette,
I want to write to you
about being a woman
for that is what you write to me.

I want to tell you how your face
enduring after thirty, forty, fifty. . .
hangs above my desk
like my own muse.

I want to tell you how your hands
reach out from your books
& seize my heart.

I want to tell you how your hair
electrifies my thoughts
like my own halo.

I want to tell you how your eyes
penetrate my fear
& make it melt.

I want to tell you
simply that I love you--
though you are "dead"
& I am still "alive."

Suicides & spinsters--
all our kind!

Even decorous Jane Austen
never marrying,
& Sappho leaping,
& Sylvia in the oven,
& Anna Wickham, Tsvetaeva, Sara Teasdale,
& pale Virginia floating like Ophelia,
& Emily alone, alone, alone. . . .

But you endure & marry,
go on writing,
lose a husband, gain a husband,
go on writing,
sing & tap dance
& you go on writing,
have a child & still
you go on writing,
love a woman, love a man
& go on writing.
You endure your writing
& your life.

Dear Colette,
I only want to thank you:

for your eyes ringed
with bluest paint like bruises,
for your hair gathering sparks
like brush fire,
for your hands which never willingly
let go,
for your years, your child, your lovers,
all your books. . . .

Dear Colette,
you hold me
to this life.

Comments about Dear Colette by Erica Jong

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (10/25/2019 4:28:00 AM)

    A Greatest Tribute ever read to a Dead Poetess. I know Colette too well, as I know my most favouruite Poetess ERICA JONG too well too. Of the two I love Erica more because she is still my living most favourite poetess.
    Mesmerizing poem, well captured, dear Great Poetess. I have enjoyed all your poems enormously. Thank you so much!

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  • (4/13/2018 2:19:00 AM)

    W.H.Y i.S rE.A.D.In.g i.t A.S. a R.O.B.O.T? ? (Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: husband, woman, alone, child, hair, dance, fire, fear, life, love, thanks, women, children, lost

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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