The World Began With Yes

The World Began With Yes

by Erica Jong
The World Began With Yes

The World Began With Yes

by Erica Jong


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Erica Jong has never stopped writing poetry. It was her first love and it has provided inspiration for all her other books. In a dark time, she celebrates life. Her title comes from the Brazilian genius Clarice Lispector who was deeply in love with life despite many tragedies. Life challenges us to celebrate even when our very existence is threatened. Never have we needed poetry more. Jong believes that the poet sees the world in a grain of sand and eternity in a wild flower—as Blake wrote. Her work has always stressed the importance of the lives of women, women’s creativity, and self-confidence. She sees her role as a writer as inspiring future poets to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597098465
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 340,748
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Erica Jong is a celebrated poet, novelist & essayist with over twenty-five published books that have been influential all over the world. Her most popular novel, Fear of Flying, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013. Never out of print, it has sold over thirty-five million copies in forty-two languages including Chinese and Arabic. Erica’s latest novel, Fear of Dying,was published in 2015/2016 with many publishers all over the world. Her awards include the Fernanda Pivano Award for Literature in Italy (named for the critic who introduced Ernest Hemingway, Allen Ginsberg, and Erica Jong to the Italian public), the Sigmund Freud Award in Italy, the Deauville Literary Award in France, the United Nations Award for Excellence in Literature, and Poetry Magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize (also won by Sylvia Plath and W.S. Merwin). Erica’s poetry has appeared in publications worldwide, including The New Yorker, L.A. Times, The Paris Review, Haaretz, and many more. Erica lives in New York and Connecticut with her husband and two poodles.

Read an Excerpt

Child on the Beach

The Mediterranean is black with bodies

as in the time of the Trojan Wars

when Homer sang of bloody battles

& heroes lay unburied

beneath the topless towers of Troy.

But this little boy of three

sleeps unburied on a beach.

Where is he from?

The chemical fog of Syria?

The garbage dumps of beautiful Beirut?

The chaos of civilization come undone?

He rests,

his parents lost,

his sisters drowned,

his brother thrown up on another beach . . .

What shall I do

with this dead toddler

who breaks me open to grief?

I will adopt him,

my nameless grandson,

welcome him into my shattered breast,

his death so sweet even cherubs weep

& Nereids float him in their seaweed boats . . .

Little one,

now you are mine—

sleep in my arms while I sing you this lullaby . . .

maybe you’ll awaken in a kinder world

where children don’t die at the edge of the sea.

Meanwhile, dream of peace

for this broken world.

Table of Contents

The World Began With Yes 13

The Breathing Of The World 15

Child On The Beach 16

Oracle Of Light 18

Unicorns 20

Acupuncturist 25

News 26

Blue Bird, Red Bird 27

Child's Play 28

"Be Careful Darkness" 29

Day Of Atonement 30

Brief Valentine 32

Connoisseur Of Longing 33

Hats 34

Inside Out 36

One 37

Love To His Soul 38

New Theory Of Love 40

Where The Poem Comes From- 41

Emily's Birthday 42

Emily Dickinson: A New Daguerreotype 44

Poetry Is Better Than Xanax 46

Spanking 48

Visible/Invisible 50

Why I Hate The News 52

Your Eggs 54

Writing Poetry Again 55

The Mental Traveller 65

The Danish Poet 66

What Is Love? 68

Facebook Friend 69

Not A Bot 70

On Hearing That Alice Munro Is Now A Stamp 71

The Wish Not Heard 72

Breasts 74

Dying Is Not Black 76

Almost Dying 78

Not With A Bang But A Whimper 80

The World 84

Her Death 85

Taking The Train 86

Prophet's Storm 87

Speaking With The Dead 88

Breath's End 90


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