One of the best side effects of this little project is learning a little about those poets whose names I’ve come across time and again but whose work I’ve never read. Case in point: Heather McHugh. I want to run out to the bookstore and buy all of her books right now, but I won’t, because, you know, responsible-saving-for-house-and-H’s-summer-wardrobe/adult-life stuff.
[If, however, you wanted to run out to a bookstore and buy her books, and you happen to live in Metro Boston, I highly recommend Newtonville Books. It’s owned by my friends Mary and Jaime (full disclosure) and they are wonderful people who love writers and readers — a love that shows in their well-appointed store.]
Anyway, back to Heather McHugh. I’m reading “Etymological Dirge” this week, a short, smart poem that melds etymology (as you might expect) and emotion. I’m a sucker for word origins, despite my barely-there Latin and Greek, and this poem is just deliciously brilliant. Go ahead and give it a read here.