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May Swenson

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 1 month ago

May Swenson 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   I was born (May 28th, 1919) and raised in Logan, Utah. English is my second language because in my home I

 

grew up speaking Swedish with my family. I went to school there all the way through college. I got my bachelor's

 

degree in 1939 at the Utah State University.

 

 

 

   Another Animal, the first book of my poems, was presented to the public in 1954. Soon after, in 1958, came

 

the book A Cage of Spines; then another in 1963, To Mix with Time New and Selected Poems.  Quit a bit of my

 

poetry after that was directed towards the youth.

 

 

 

   I published ten different collections of poetry and a book of translations of poems of Tomas Transtormer, a

 

Swedish poet. But I did a large variety of writing. I write on the natural world and some scientific research.

 

 

 

 

 

   I really love to write on love poetry and eroticism, most of all, I very much enjoy writing on lesbian sexuality.

 

Even though I said them in different categories in many cases nature and sexuality are on the same topic.

 

Fireflies, Dark Wild Honey, and Wednesday at The Waldorf are a few of my poems on sexuality and nature

 

both.

 

 

 

 

   If you read my poetry you will see that much of it has to do with the west. Unlike many others who may be

 

inspired by another poet or just another person, I am truly and deeply inspired by the beauty of the west. On

 

the other hand John Anthony Ciardi, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Howard and Elizabeth Bishop were all found of

 

me as well was I of them.

 

 

 

   I have taught poetry at Bryn Mawr, University of North Carolina, University of California at Riverside, Purdue

 

University and (my school) Utah State University. From 1959 to 1966 I was an editor at New Directions

 

Publishers.

 

 

 

   Some of my poems were featured in The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Paris Review, Carleton Miscellany,

 

Antaeus, The New Yorker, Parnassus and Poetry. In 1980 until 1989 I was Chancellor of The Academy of

 

American Poets.

 

 

 

Sleeping with Boa

 

 

By Me

 

I show her how to put her arms around me,

 

 

but she’s much too small.

 

 

What’s worse, she doesn’t understand.

 

 

And

 

 

although she lies beside me, sticking

 

 

out her tongue, it’s herself she licks.

 

 

 

 

She likes my stroking hand.

 

 

And

 

 

even lets me kiss.

 

 

But at my demand:

 

 

“Now, do it to me, like this,”

 

 

she backs off with a hiss.

 

 

 

 

What’s in her little mind?

 

 

Jumping off the bed,

 

 

she shows me her behind,

 

 

but curls up on the rug instead.

 

 

I beg her to return. At first, she did,

 

 

then went and hid

 

 

 

 

under the covers. She’s playing with my feet!

 

 

“Oh, Boa, come back. Be sweet,

 

 

Lie against me here where I’m nice and warm.

 

 

Settle down. Don’t claw, don’t bite.

 

 

Stay with me tonight.”

 

 

Seeming to consent, she gives a little whine.

 

 

 

 

Her deep, deep pupils meet mine

 

 

with a look that holds a flood ...

 

 

But not my brand.

 

 

Not at all.

 

 

And,

 

 

what‘s worse, she’s much too small.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.I.P.

 

 

May Swenson

 

 

A Dear Friend and a Wonderous Poet

 

 

Passed away on December 4th 1989

 

 

She Will Always Remain in Our Hearts

 

 

 

 

 

Sources Cited

 

 

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/may_swenson/biography

 

http://www.poemhunter.com/may-swenson/biography/

 

http://www.nndb.com/people/505/000048361/

 

http://www.usu.edu/usupress/books/index.cfm?isbn=2189

 

 

Created By Melissa

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