January 07, 2005

Reading Log: Linda Gregg

This poet has a neopagan answer for the problem of suffering: the gods want the honey. They want the hive to be fumigated with burning thyme so that the bees will swarm away in confusion and the honey will be left for the gods’ delight. We are the bees. What is the honey?

See her poem “The Ninth Dawn” in her 1994 book CHOSEN BY THE LION.

Linda Gregg is herself the object of a small cult, along with her ex–husband Jack Gilbert, of whom more in some future posting. Both these poets write terse, stripped–down verse. Everything pared away. Lots of sentence fragments. Gilbert the troubled mentor, Gregg the splendid protégée. Lots of romantic pain on view. They lived for several years on a Greek island, and their marriage collapsed in the most beautiful setting on earth. Now they take each other’s book jacket photos and mention each other in poems about later loves.