Monday, March 12, 2012

An Antidote

Dear Mary,

A report that you are ill prompts me to say I hope very much that you can make a strong recovery. I don't need to tell you that your poetry has had a powerful influence on me. I'm continually struck by the way it reaches people I don't regard as regular readers of poetry, most recently a good friend who is a retired law professor and an editor I know at the University of Michigan Press. I've been retired for several years now, but when I was teaching and assigning books of yours as well as individual poems (most often American Primitive or House of Light) I saw over and over how students were made to think by the poems and also moved by them. I would keep assigning your poetry, and continue to recommend it, because it is accessible as well as rich and provocative. I found it a good antidote to the poetry anxiety I found in many students.

With warm regards,
John Knott
Professor Emeritus of English
University of Michigan

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