Deborah Digges (1950-2009)
I am beyond shock.
Here's a post I made for one of her poems a couple of years ago:
Simply because this is how life seems at the moment, here's a poem by Deborah Digges, from her wonderful book, Trapeze (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). Digges was born and raised in Missouri, and now lives in Massachusetts, where she is a professor of English at Tufts University. She also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Vermont College. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including Rough Music (1995) which won the Kinglsey Tufts Prize, and two memoirs: Fugitive Spring (1991) and The Stardust Lounge (2001). She has also collaborated on translations of the poems of Maria Elena Cruz Varela.
Deborah Digges' poems are lovely and broken and poignant and whole. If you haven't read her work, seek it out. You won't be disappointed.
Split by the light, wrought golden, one of a thousand cars stunned
crawling westward, I remembered a day I stopped for an old snapper,
as huge as, when embracing ghosts, you round your arms.
Who did I think I was to lift him like a pond,
or ballast from the slosh of hull swamp, tarred as he was, undaunted,
that thrashed and hissed at the worst place to try to cross,
where the road plunged east, the lumber trucks
swept daily down from the blue hills
past winter-ravaged toys blanching by makeshift crosses.
An old sea shimmered in the asphalt.
Spared over the mirage to ancient footpaths, he lunged again,
and spit, turning his oddly touching head toward the project
of the steep embankment. Such were the times.
Hardwired, the way. Cross here or die. Die crossing.