Marie Howe on “What the Living Do”

By The Editors on 10.27.11

Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross talks with Marie Howe on NPR about the death of her brother and her poem “What the Living Do,” which was recently included in the new Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry.

I keep going back to poetry itself. Poetry holds the knowledge that we are alive and that we know we’re going to die. The most mysterious aspect of being alive might be that, and poetry knows that. So everybody we know is going to die and many of us will attend our beloved friends and family. So what each friend who has died has told me is, it’s going to happen to you too. You know, here I go, bye, you know? And every time that happens, it’s a new experience that I feel like I’ve been privileged to be near or close to the door when they’ve gone.

Listen to the whole interview here.