Carolyn Ashley Kizer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet of the Pacific Northwest whose works reflect her feminism.
"Kizer reaches into mythology in poems like “Semele Recycled”; into politics, into feminism, especially in her series of poems called “Pro Femina”; into science, the natural world, music, and translations and commentaries on Japanese and Chinese literatures," according to an article on Kizer at the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest Web site.
Kizer was born in Spokane, Washington, the daughter of a socially prominent Spokane couple,
Her father, Benjamin Hamilton Kizer, was 45 when she was born. Her mother, Mabel Ashley... more »
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Carolyn Kizer Poems
Arms and the girl I sing - O rare arms that are braceleted and white and bare arms that were lovely Helen's, in whose name
A Poet's Household
1 The stout poet tiptoes On the lawn. Surprisingly limber
My mother-- preferring the strange to the tame: Dove-note, bone marrow, deer dung, Frog's belly distended with finny young, Leaf-mould wilderness, hare-bell, toadstool,
For more than thirty years we hadn't met. I remembered the bright query of your face, That single-minded look,intense and stern, Yet most important -how could I forget?-
On a Line from Valéry (The Gulf War)
The whole green sky is dying.The last tree flares With a great burst of supernatural rose Under a canopy of poisonous airs.
for Maxine Kumin Where did these enormous children come from, More ladylike than we have ever been?
The Ungrateful Garden
Midas watched the golden crust That formed over his steaming sores, Hugged his agues, loved his lust, But damned to hell the out-of-doors
For Ann London As you described your mastectomy in calm detail and bared your chest so I might see
A Song for Muriel
No-one explains me because There is nothing to explain. It's all right here Very clear.
Days of 1986
He was believed by his peers to be an important poet, But his erotic obsession, condemned and strictly forbidden, Compromised his standing, and led to his ruin.
When from his cave, young Mao in his youthful mind A work to renew old China first designed, Then he alone interpreted the law, and from tradtional fountains scorned to draw:
A Muse of Water
We who must act as handmaidens To our own goddess, turn too fast, Trip on our hems, to glimpse the muse
Comments about Carolyn Kizer
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Arms and the girl I sing - O rare
arms that are braceleted and white and bare
arms that were lovely Helen's, in whose name
Greek slaughtered Trojan. Helen was to blame.
Scape-nanny call her; wars for turf
and profit don't sound glamorous enough.
Mythologize your women! None escape.
Europe was named from an act of bestial rape:
Eponymous girl on bull-back, he intent
on scattering sperm across a continent.
Old Zeus refused to take the rap.
It's not his name in big print on the map.
But let's go back to the beginning
when sinners ...