Need

By Babette Deutsch 1895–1982 Babette Deutsch
What do we need for love—a midnight fire
Flinging itself by fistfuls up the chimney
In soft bright snatches? Do we need the snow,
Gentle as silence, covering the scars
Of weeks of hunger, years of shabby having?
Summer or winter? A heaven of stars? A room?
The smiling mouth, the sadness of desire
Are everywhere the same. If lovers go
Along an unknown road, they find no less
What is familiar. Let them stay at home,
And all will still be strange. This they know
Who with each heartbeat fight the fear of change.

Babette Deutsch, “Need” from The Collected Poems of Babette Deutsch (New York: Doubleday, 1969). Reprinted with the permission of Michael Yarmolinsky.

Source: The Collected Poems (Random House Inc., 1969)

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Poet Babette Deutsch 1895–1982

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

 Babette  Deutsch

Biography

Poet, novelist, editor, and critic Babette Deutsch was born and lived much of her life in New York City. She began to publish poems in journals such as the New Republic while a student at Barnard College, where she earned a BA. Two years after her graduation, she published her first poetry collection, Banners (1919).
 
Aligned with the Imagist movement, Deutsch typically composed compact, lyrical pieces using crisp visual . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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