The Quarrel

By Linda Pastan b. 1932 Linda Pastan
If there were a monument   
to silence, it would not be   
the tree whose leaves   
murmur continuously   
among themselves;   

nor would it be the pond   
whose seeming stillness   
is shattered   
by the quicksilver   
surfacing of fish.   

If there were a monument   
to silence, it would be you   
standing so upright, so unforgiving,   
your mute back deflecting   
every word I say.

Poem copyright © 2007 by Linda Pastan, whose most recent book of poetry is “Queen of a Rainy Country,” W. W. Norton & Co., 2006 . Reprinted from “Solo Café 2: Oppression & Forgiveness,” Vol. 2, Solo Press, 2007, by permission of Linda Pastan.

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Poet Linda Pastan b. 1932

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Linda  Pastan

Biography

Poet Linda Pastan was raised in New York City but has lived for most of her life in Potomac, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. In her senior year at Radcliffe College, Pastan won the Mademoiselle poetry prize (Sylvia Plath was the runner-up). Immediately following graduation, however, she decided to give up writing poetry in order to concentrate on raising her family. After ten years at home, her husband urged her to return . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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