Monday, March 5, 2012

Thank you for persisting

Dear Mary,
Once in a while, we encounter work that affects us so profoundly that it becomes part of our selves, the rhythms of blood and breath.  That happened when I read your collected works, followed by individual collections.  "In Blackwater Woods," for example, startles me every time I read it, as if I encountered it for the first time.  That poem speaks so deeply to me of what it means to risk love, which is, God knows, the riskiest undertaking of all.  I quote long sections of "Summer Day" to my students, type lines from it on my desk, pin them to my wall.  I use your work to inspire myself to write; I use your work to inspire myself and others to live deeply and consciously and fully. 
Part of being a writer is that sense of sending work out that is never quite what we wanted it to be, never sure if or how it will speak to others, whether it has, in the terrible phrase, been "worth it."  Yours has been a life of profound worth, your work a spending of every talent you possess, and I am only one of many who love you for it.
Thank you for persisting.
Rebecca Baggett 

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