Linda Pastan

Almost an Elegy: For Tony Hoagland
November 24, 2018 Pastan Linda

Almost an Elegy: For Tony Hoagland

Your poems make me want
to write my poems,

which is a kind of plagiarism
of the spirit.

But when your death reminds me
that mine is on its way,

I close the book, clinging
to this tenuous world the way the leaves

outside cling to their tree
just before they turn color and fall.

I need time to read all the poems
you left behind, which pierce

the darkness here at my window
but did nothing to save you.

Linda Pastan was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Her 14th book, Insomnia,  came out in 2015 and A Dog Runs Through It in 2018.