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A Gift

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Who is that creature   
and who does he want?   
Me, I trust. I do not   
attempt to call out his   
name for fear he will   
tread on me. What do   
you believe, he asks.   

That we all want to be   
alone, I reply, except when   
we do not; that the world   
was open to my sorrow   
and ate most of it; that   
today is a gift and I am   
ready to receive you.

Source: Poetry (March 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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A Gift

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  • Journalist, essayist, and newspaper editor, Kathryn Starbuck started writing poems in her 60s. She is the author of Griefmania (Sheep Meadow Press, 2006) and Sex Perhaps (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Best American Poetry 2008.
    Though she was a practiced prose writer, it was the experience of grief that led her to writing poetry. After the deaths of her husband, the poet George Starbuck, her parents, and others close to her, she found that her “scribbling” in notebooks was taking the form of poetry. Starbuck identifies her subjects in Griefmania as Greek history and “my interior life.” Joel Brouwer has commented on the “real rawness to the emotion and the energy” in Starbuck’s work.
    Starbuck is the editor, with Elizabeth Meese, of George Starbuck’s poetry collections Visible Ink (2002) and The Works: Poems Selected from Five Decades (2003). She has edited the Milford, New Hampshire, weekly...

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