Why Are Your Poems So Dark?

By Linda Pastan b. 1932 Linda Pastan
Isn't the moon dark too,   
most of the time?   

And doesn't the white page   
seem unfinished   

without the dark stain   
of alphabets?   

When God demanded light,   
he didn't banish darkness.   

Instead he invented   
ebony and crows   

and that small mole   
on your left cheekbone.   

Or did you mean to ask   
"Why are you sad so often?"   

Ask the moon.   
Ask what it has witnessed.

Source: Poetry (August 2003).

 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 Arts & Sciences, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Couplet, Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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