Linda Pastan


Linda Pastan (1932-present) is an American Jewish poet raised in New York City. She has lived most of her life in Potomac, Maryland and was the Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995. Educated at Radcliffe College, Pastan has written 15 books of poetry, often involving themes of motherhood, family life, the female experience, aging, loss and fear of loss, and death. Source

Why Are Your Poems so Dark?

Isn't the moon dark too,

most of the time?


And doesn't the white page

seem unfinished


without the dark stain

of alphabets?


When God demanded light,

he didn't banish darkness.


Instead he invented

ebony and crows


and that small mole

on your left cheekbone.


Or did you mean to ask

"Why are you sad so often?"


Ask the moon.

Ask what it has witnessed.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered