After Love

By Maxine W. Kumin 1925–2014
Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.
 
These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.
 
Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.
 
The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar
 
and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.
 
Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when
 
the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self
 
lay lightly down, and slept.

Maxine Kumin, “After Love” from Selected Poems, 1960-1990. Copyright © 1970 by Maxine Kumin. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Source: Selected Poems, 1960-1990 (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1998)

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Poet Maxine W. Kumin 1925–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Maxine W. Kumin

Biography

An enduring presence in American poetry, Maxine Kumin’s career spanned over half a century. She was the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award. She was the poetry consultant for the Library of Congress in 1981-1982, and taught at many of the country’s most prestigious universities, including MIT, Princeton, and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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