poem index


Jennifer Michael Hecht

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Jennifer Michael Hecht

Jennifer Michael Hecht is a historian and poet. She is the author of three poetry collections: Who Said (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); Funny (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), winner of the 2005 Felix Pollak Prize; and The Next Ancient World (Tupelo Press, 2001), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award and the Tupelo Press Judge’s Prize in Poetry. Her most recent nonfiction work is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It (Yale University Press, 2015). She has taught at The New School and Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

by this poet

When they die we change our minds 
about them. While they live we see 
the plenty hard they’re trying,
to be a star, or nice, or wise, 
and so we do not quite believe them. 

When they die, suddenly they are 
what they claimed. Turns out, 
that’s what one of those looks like. 

The cold war over manner of manly

How to read a tome of Collected Poems?
Read one that pivotally changes you
and lose track of the page and title.
How to clean a house? Lose your ring in it.

Milosz not having to make peace one day
because the people are dead, nor revisit
some cities of his blood, because they are