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Best Famous Linda Pastan Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Linda Pastan poems. This is a select list of the best famous Linda Pastan poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Linda Pastan poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Linda Pastan poems.

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by Linda Pastan |

Emily Dickinson

 We think of hidden in a white dress
among the folded linens and sachets
of well-kept cupboards, or just out of sight
sending jellies and notes with no address
to all the wondering Amherst neighbors.
Eccentric as New England weather the stiff wind of her mind, stinging or gentle, blew two half imagined lovers off.
Yet legend won't explain the sheer sanity of vision, the serious mischief of language, the economy of pain.


by Linda Pastan |

Pears

 Some say
it was a pear
Eve ate.
Why else the shape of the womb, or of the cello Whose single song is grief for the parent tree? Why else the fruit itself tawny and sweet which your lover over breakfast lets go your pear- shaped breast to reach for?


by Linda Pastan |

Jump Cabling

 When our cars touched
When you lifted the hood of mine
To see the intimate workings underneath,
When we were bound together
By a pulse of pure energy,
When my car like the princess
In the tale woke with a start, 
I thought why not ride the rest of the way together.


by Linda Pastan |

Self-Portrait

 After Adam Zagajewski



I am child to no one, mother to a few,
wife for the long haul.
On fall days I am happy with my dying brethren, the leaves, but in spring my head aches from the flowery scents.
My husband fills a room with Mozart which I turn off, embracing the silence as if it were an empty page waiting for me alone to fill it.
He digs in the black earth with his bare hands.
I scrub it from the creases of his skin, longing for the kind of perfection that happens in books.
My house is my only heaven.
A red dog sleeps at my feet, dreaming of the manic wings of flushed birds.
As the road shortens ahead of me I look over my shoulder to where it curves back to childhood, its white line bisecting the real and the imagined the way the ridgepole of the spine divides the two parts of the body, leaving the soft belly in the center vulnerable to anything.
As for my country, it blunders along as well intentioned as Eve choosing cider and windfalls, oblivious to the famine soon to come.
I stir pots, bury my face in books, or hold a telephone to my ear as if its cord were the umbilicus of the world whose voices still whisper to me even after they have left their bodies.


by Linda Pastan |

The New Dog

 Into the gravity of my life,
the serious ceremonies
of polish and paper
and pen, has come

this manic animal
whose innocent disruptions
make nonsense
of my old simplicities--

as if I needed him
to prove again that after
all the careful planning,
anything can happen.


by Linda Pastan |

The Happiest Day

 It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered in the background, part of the scenery like the houses I had grown up in, and if they would be torn down later that was something I knew but didn't believe.
Our children were asleep or playing, the youngest as new as the new smell of the lilacs, and how could I have guessed their roots were shallow and would be easily transplanted.
I didn't even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt on melon were what I dwelt on, though in truth they simply made the fruit taste sweeter.
So we sat on the porch in the cool morning, sipping hot coffee.
Behind the news of the day-- strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere-- I could see the top of your dark head and thought not of public conflagrations but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder.
If someone could stop the camera then.
.
.
if someone could only stop the camera and ask me: are you happy? perhaps I would have noticed how the morning shone in the reflected color of lilac.
Yes, I might have said and offered a steaming cup of coffee.


by Linda Pastan |

What We Want

 What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things we thought we wanted: a face, a room, an open book and these things bear our names-- now they want us.
But what we want appears in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past, holding out our arms and in the morning our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream, but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day as an animal is there under the table, as the stars are there even in full sun.


by Linda Pastan |

Prosody 101

 When they taught me that what mattered most
was not the strict iambic line goose-stepping
over the page but the variations
in that line and the tension produced
on the ear by the surprise of difference,
I understood yet didn't understand
exactly, until just now, years later
in spring, with the trees already lacy
and camellias blowsy with middle age,
I looked out and saw what a cold front had done
to the garden, sweeping in like common language,
unexpected in the sensuous
extravagance of a Maryland spring.
There was a dark edge around each flower as if it had been outlined in ink instead of frost, and the tension I felt between the expected and actual was like that time I came to you, ready to say goodbye for good, for you had been a cold front yourself lately, and as I walked in you laughed and lifted me up in your arms as if I too were lacy with spring instead of middle aged like the camellias, and I thought: so this is Poetry!


by Linda Pastan |

Home For Thanksgiving

 The gathering family
throws shadows around us,
it is the late afternoon
Of the family.
There is still enough light to see all the way back, but at the windows that light is wasting away.
Soon we will be nothing but silhouettes: the sons' as harsh as the fathers'.
Soon the daughters will take off their aprons as trees take off their leaves for winter.
Let us eat quickly-- let us fill ourselves up.
the covers of the album are closing behind us.


by Linda Pastan |

To A Daughter Leaving Home

 When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.