Saturday has always been my favorite of the week for the New York Times. I read the obits with almost religiously. In the past few years the women and men seem to be closer to my own age. Margalit Fox who writes the literary obits wrote a beautiful one Saturday for Maxine Kumin, a contemporary of Adrienne Rich.
"Prize-Winning Poet with a Naturalist's Precision" was long enough to have many nuggets--her close friendship with Anne Sexton when both were students in a 1950s poetry workshop in the Boston suburbs. And the advice she gave students when later she taught poetry, drew on her own feminist consciousness about why it was imperative to memorize 30 or 40 lines a week:
...to give them an internal library to draw on when they are taken political prisoner. For many this is an unthinkable concept; they simply do not believe in anything fervently enought to go to jail for it."
Several Kumin poems are included... "A Game of Monopoly in the Chevannes"
His lower lip trembles, this luxury of a child
who burst naked into our lives, like luck. ...
I will deed him the Reading Railroad, the Water Works,
the Electric Company, my hotel on Park Place.
All that I have is his, under separate cover,
and we are the mortgaged nub of all that he has.
Soon enough he will learn, buying long, selling short,
his ultimate task is to stay to usher us out.