One of my favorite poets, Jane Cooper, has passed way. She ventured from early, almost reticent lyrics to sprawling, powerful late mediations, and her 1974 essay entitled “Nothing Has Been Used in the Manufacture of This Poetry that Could Have Been Used in the Manufacture of Bread” is a classic apologia that illuminates the struggles women of her generation faced in becoming and remaining writers. Her collected poems, The Flashboat, is a book I return to often—and each new visit brings a fresh discovery. As she herself puts it in her great meditation on the life and work of Willa Cather:
It begins again
as a miracle, that is
a change in perception
We’re lucky to have Jane Cooper’s work to instruct us in such miracles.