After Su Tung P'o

By Heather McHugh b. 1948 Heather McHugh

ON THE BIRTH OF A SON

When a child is born, the parents say
they hope it's healthy and intelligent. But as for me—

well, vigor and intelligence have wrecked my life. I pray
this baby we are seeing walloped, wiped and winningly anointed,

turns out dumb as oakum—and more sinister. That way
he can crown a tranquil life by being

appointed a cabinet minister.

Heather McHugh, "After Su Tung P'o", in Eyeshot © 2003 by Heather McHugh and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press. www.wesleyan.edu/wespress

Source: Eyeshot (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)

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Poet Heather McHugh b. 1948

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Parenthood

 Heather  McHugh

Biography

Poet Heather McHugh’s work is noted for its rhetorical gestures, sharp puns and interest in the materials of language itself—her self-described determination is “to follow every surge of language, every scrap and flotsam.” Describing her work in the Boston Review, poet and critic Richard Howard alleged that “most of McHugh’s poems end in a spurt, as they proceed in a slather, of just such astonishment as is bestowed—afforded—by . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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