Linda Gregg


Born in Suffern, New York, on September 9, 1942, Linda Gregg grew up in Marin County, California. She received her BA and MA from San Francisco State University. Her first book of poems, Too Bright to See, was published by Graywolf Press in 1981. She went on to publish several collections of poetry, including All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008), the 2009 recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award; In the Middle Distance (Graywolf Press, 2006); Things and Flesh (Graywolf Press, 1999); and Alma (Random House, 1985). Gregg's honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writer's Award, as well as multiple Pushcart Prizes. She was the 2003 winner of the Sara Teasdale Award and the 2006 PEN/Voelcker Award winner for Poetry. She taught at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University. She died on March 20, 2019. Source

Let Birds

Eight deer on the slope

in the summer morning mist.

The night sky blue.

Me like a mare let out to pasture.

The Tao does not console me. 

I was given the Way 

in the milk of childhood. 

Breathing it waking and sleeping.

But now there is no amazing smell

of sperm on my thighs,

no spreading it on my stomach

to show pleasure. 

I will never give up longing. 

I will let my hair stay long. 

The rain proclaims these trees,

the trees tell of the sun.

Let birds, let birds.

Let leaf be passion.

Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be

between us. Let joy.

Let entering. Let rage and calm join.

Let quail come.

Let winter impress you. Let spring. 

Allow the ocean to wake in you.

Let the mare in the field

in the summer morning mist

make you whinny. Make you come 

to the fence and whinny. Let birds.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships


Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


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


words or phrases repeated one after another in quick succession

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem


an instruction or a command