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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 | |

Shadblow

 Because the shad
are swimming
in our waters now,

breaching the skin
of the river with their
tarnished silvery fins,

heading upstream
straight for our tables
where already

knives and forks gleam
in anticipation, these trees
in the woods break

into flower--small, white
flags surrendering
to the season.


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.


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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

Wind Chill

 The door of winter
is frozen shut, 

and like the bodies
of long extinct animals, cars 

lie abandoned wherever
the cold road has taken them.
How ceremonious snow is, with what quiet severity it turns even death to a formal arrangement.
Alone at my window, I listen to the wind, to the small leaves clicking in their coffins of ice.


by Linda Pastan | |

A New Poet

 Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods.
You don't see its name in the flower books, and nobody you tell believes in its odd color or the way its leaves grow in splayed rows down the whole length of the page.
In fact the very page smells of spilled red wine and the mustiness of the sea on a foggy day - the odor of truth and of lying.
And the words are so familiar, so strangely new, words you almost wrote yourself, if only in your dreams there had been a pencil or a pen or even a paintbrush, if only there had been a flower.


by Linda Pastan | |

Petit Dejeuner

 I sing a song
of the croissant
and of the wily French
who trick themselves daily
back to the world
for its sweet ceremony.
Ah to be reeled up into morning on that crisp, buttery hook.


by Linda Pastan | |

Linda Pastan - Vermilion

 Pierre Bonnard would enter
the museum with a tube of paint
in his pocket and a sable brush.
Then violating the sanctity of one of his own frames he'd add a stroke of vermilion to the skin of a flower.
Just so I stopped you at the door this morning and licking my index finger, removed an invisible crumb from your vermilion mouth.
As if at the ritual moment of departure I had to show you still belonged to me.
As if revision were the purest form of love.