Kizer, Carolyn 1999

Wednesday, October 13, 1999
with Allison Joseph

The young dandies drop ice into the drinks,
While the girls slice the succulent lotus root.
Above us, a patch of cloud spreads, darkening
Like a water-stain on silk.

Carolyn Kizer, “After Tu Fu”

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Listen to Carolyn Kizer’s 1999 reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

We who must act as handmaidens
To our own goddess, turn too fast,
Trip on our hems, to glimpse the muse
Gliding below her lake or sea,
Are left, long-staring after her,
Narcissists by necessity;

– Carolyn Kizer, “A Muse of Water”

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Read an interview with Carolyn Kizer from the Paris Review:

The Art of Poetry No. 81

Carolyn Kizer was born in Spokane, Washington on December 10, 1925, a birth date shared with Emily Dickinson. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, studied at Columbia University as a fellow of the Chinese government and, in 1946, became a graduate fellow at the University of Washington…

I let the smoke out of the windows
And lift the hair from my ears.
A season of birds and reaping,
A level of light appears.

– Carolyn Kizer, “Complex Autumnal” 

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Listen to archived recordings of Carolyn Kizer, with an introduction to her life and work, on the Poetry Foundation’s Essential American Poets Podcast:

More info on Carolyn Kizer⇒