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Lise Menn
Boulder, CO
semi-retired linguistics professor, editor of The Widows' Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival
Recent Activity
Many years ago, when Tim and I were first dating, I wrote a poem called “Dulcimer.” In it, I tried to capture how the “muted mauve&gray sky” of a winter’s afternoon, the dulcimer music on the radio, and our lovemaking all came together to create a beautiful outside-of-time moment. Tim always liked that poem and not just because it was sexual. “That’s the way it really was,” he’d say. We married and had a child, Zeke. We were not a picture-perfect couple by any stretch of the imagination, and we both had pretty good ones. But we got each other.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
It’s one of those clubs you don’t want to join, but since I didn’t get a choice, I am proud to be among the voices--brave, diverse, honest--in The Widows’ Handbook. Some of the writers were widowed only recently, while others, like me, write from a loss much farther behind us. In fact, my husband Carl died in 1996 and my contributions to the anthology are all in the section called “A Different Life. “ And that’s what I have, a different life. Different poems, too. A few years ago I was invited to write an essay on “why I write.”... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
(Ed. note: This post is part of series by contributors to The Widows' Handbook. You can find previous posts here. sdh) Writing is a very tricky thing. It takes courage and surrender. It requires initiation and patience and I run short on both in most the areas of my life. When writing begins sometimes I don’t, well, most times I don’t know where it will end or where it will take me. Blogging has become a life line for me. It has transformed my inner world into an outer world. It keeps me sane. It connects me to those I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
(Ed note: This is the second in a series of monthly posts by the editors and contributors to The Widows' Handbook. Read the previous post here.) It is believed that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was mourning her brother when she wrote this Victorian era poem. Sadly, it seems that she had to justify her feelings. Grief By Elizabeth Barrett Browning I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless; That only men incredulous of despair, Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness, In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare Under... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
(Ed note: Today we begin a monthly series of posts by the editors and contributors to The Widow's Handbook, which we first learned about when Bruce Kawin joined us a guest author. The first post comes from the volumes co-editor and contributor Lise Menn. Lise is professor emerita of linguistics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of Psycholinguistics: Introduction and Applications (2010) as well as a lifetime's worth of research articles on language development and on aphasia. Earlier poems appeared in anthologies of poems by linguists. In 2007, she began writing about the loss of her husband, linguist... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Feb 5, 2014