Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today's poem - The Domestic Arrangement by Maxine Kumin

The Domestic Arrangement
from Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals

Wm went into the wood to alter his poems
writes Dorothy. I shelled peas, gathered beans,
and worked in the garden. This is Grasmere

where she picked and boiled gooseberries,
two lbs. of sugar in the first panfull
while Wm went into the wood to alter his poems

a trip he makes almost daily, composing
the lines she will later copy. Mornings
she works in the garden at Grasmere

which looked so beautiful my heart
almost melted away, she confides
while Wm's in the wood altering his poems.

On one of their daily walks she observes
helpful details of Wm's famed daffodils.
Then it's back to the garden at Grasmere

where she ties up her scarlet runner beans
and pulls a bag of peas for Miss Simpson.
Leave Wm in the wood to alter his poems;
praise Dorothy in the garden at Grasmere.

by Maxine Kumin
From: Still To Mow, 2007


  1. Your new header is beautiful!
    Thanks for introducing me to a new author - Maxine Kumin.

  2. Thank you so much. Maxine Kumin is a tremendous poet who writes about a lot of different things. Some of her new stuff is harder for me because it deals with the terrible things in the world. When we heard her read last summer, she read a couple of those poems and I surreptitiously blocked my ears. Some of the images were just too strong for me. But there are many, many poems that do not deal with these subjects. She writes about animals and aging and love beautifully. Thank you for commenting.

  3. I love Maxine Kumin, but was not familiar with this poem. It is just beautiful. Thanks.

  4. I am a big fan of Maxine Kumin; I particularly like the opening poem of her new book as well as her older poem about the blue blazer of death, commemorating Anne Sexton's death. It is one of those that conjoins the immanent --and the real -- with the imagistic and etc in terrific ways.

  5. I do praise Dorothy in the garden of Grasmere! Thanks so much for telling me that this was on your blog. I wish I could write a poem about Dorothy. I am just a blogger so I mentioned her in my post.
    She deserves a poem like this!

    1. I am so glad you came to read it. I just love this poem.


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