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Convinced, 1957

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At last I was convinced that giving in to their thinking represented a huge error in the evolution of my family affairs. Riven with a savage melancholy, not permitted out of the house without two minders—one armed with needle sedative, the other armed with arms—I armed myself with myself and threw off the vulgar superstition and reactionary domination that had up to then poisoned my mental library, imprisoning me, making me believe, with them, that I must have children when I knew that I must not, would not.    And I did not.

Source: Poetry (January 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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Convinced, 1957

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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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