Rae Armantrout

Difficulty
June 9, 2013 Armantrout Rae

Difficulty

 

It’s difficult

not to be sentimental

 

about the sun

at first,

 

or when it first

slides out

 

from between

clouds

 

and we say it has

“returned”.

 

But I should back up

and explain

 

to the alien

doctors

 

that we know it’s wrong

to be sentimental.

 

It means you’re too easy

on yourself

 

or you’re an easy

mark, maybe,

 

a push-over,

 

and we’re brighter

than that.

 

Look there!

The author of several collections of widely anthologized poetry, Armantrout has also published a short memoir, True (1998). Her Collected Prose was published in 2007. A California native, Armantrout earned her BA at UC Berkeley—where she studied with Denise Levertov—and she received her MA at San Francisco State. She is a professor and director of the New Writing Series at UCSD.  Her most recent collection, Partly: New and Selected Poems, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2016. A chapbook, Entanglements (2017), sprang from Armantrout’s long engagment with science and included new and old poems.