The Poems That Stick With Us

By The Editors on 7.16.10

This week we’ve been finding out a lot about how accomplished poets feel about their earliest published work. We’ve asked Beth Ann Fennelly, Eavan Boland, Linda Pastan, and Stephen Dunn what they think about their first book now and how they went about creating their first collection. Today, we simply wanted to find out which of their early poems still stick with them to this day. Here’s what they had to say:

Beth Ann Fennelly: I still like the young love poems I wrote for my husband.  Maybe because I still like my husband.




Eavan Boland: I still feel connected to one poem in my first book called “Athene’s Song.” It’s about a woman trying to choose art and language, when her official role is as the goddess of war.



Stephen Dunn: Some still please me. “What,” “Teacher Answering Young Radicals,” “Sympathetic Magic,” “Biography in the First Person,” “Men in Winter,” “Day and Night Handball,” and “How to be Happy: Another Memo to ‘Myself.’”


Linda Pastan: There are many poems in my first book that I continue to feel strongly about and continue to include in readings.  Some of them are: “Notes from the Delivery Room,” “At the Gynecologist’s,” “Emily Dickinson,” “Passover,” “A Dangerous Time.”

topics: News / Interviews