Anne Stevenson’s review of Ted Hughes’s Birthday Letters appeared in MQR’s Winter 1999 issue. Our dear friend and longtime former Editor Lawrence Goldstein knows the journal’s publishing history like an intimate library, and he reminded us of this treasure from the archives. In the United
After twenty years of postponing her love life and toiling as a professor of immunology at Cal Tech, Moonie finally has a breakthrough. She has been studying the humoral and cellular system of an earthworm named Carlos for fifteen years.
The day has come when my mother
no longer knows me.
It comes on a day of dying
like words torn from a typewriter.
“I think the stomach must have gone to the dark goblins given grace far out in the groping tundras, and learned from them how to magically father the children of heat.”
Time stops. She’d moved
through the tall yellow sage
as they copulated,
stood only a few feet
away, enveloped in the scent
that drew them together.