Who Said

Who Said

by Jennifer Michael Hecht


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"Jennifer Michael Hecht writes delightfully tricky poems that wildly bend the sense of our language."—Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate

"Hecht's rhymes are irregular, gymnastic, pointed, and fun; she's found what so many would-be populists seek, an idiom entirely conversational yet able to sustain unexpected ideas."— The Believer

Who Said is a meditation on life's profound questions told through playful engagement with iconic poems and lyrics. Jennifer Michael Hecht's book is a magic echo chamber wherein great poems come back to us, altered to fit the concerns of our moment. This wildly interpretive treatment of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and the rock band Nirvana is original, occasionally hilarious, and always moving.

From "Not Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening":

"Promises to keep," was a lie, he had nothing. Throughthe woods. Over the river and into the pain. It is an addict'stalk of quitting as she's smacking at a vein. He was alwaysgoing into the woods. It was he who wrote, "The only way

around is through." You'd think a shrink, but no, a poet. He saw the woods and knew. The forest is the one that holdspromises. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, they fillwith a quiet snow. Miles are traveled as we sleep. He steers

his horse off the road. Among the trees now, the blizzardis a dusting. Holes in the canopy make columns of snowstorm, lit from above. His little horse thinks it is queer. They godeeper, sky gets darker. It's the darkest night of the year . . .

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of several nonfiction titles, most recently The Happiness Myth (HarperOne). She teaches at The New School and lives in the BoCoCa neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556594496
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Michael Hecht: Jennifer Michael Hecht earned a BA from Adelphi University and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Columbia University. Her debut volume of poetry, The Next Ancient World, won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. She teaches at The New School and lives in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Key 3


Not Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening 7

On the Past Denied 8

The Spider 9

Ode from Spring 10

Ode to Autumn 11


Split 15

My Hero 17

Hecht's Furniture Polish 18

Now and Telling 19

Zoo Review 21

Episode 22


Ode to Bookstore and Dinner Out, in Spring 25

Bust a Keaton 26

Lenny Bruce 28

Lady Look-Alike Lazarized 30

Aging Secret 32


Leopard Goes through Hell Villanelle 35

Gender Bender 36

Circus Pantoum 38

The Way-Out Way Out 39

Please Use This Against Me 41


Smells like Every Grief I Meet 45

Hard Won 47

A Marriage of Love and Independence 48

Drummond's "Don't Kill Yourself" 49

The Lion and the Honeycomb 52


Valentine 57

Newborn Time 58

My Guy 60

Monologue for Mother to Newborn Son 61

Steady, Steady 62


Backyard Scene, or, Fragment of a Vision 67

Penelope, weaving 69

On Reading the Letters of the Dead 71

No Hemlock Rock 72

Men Wept 73


Forest 77

Meditation instead of Sweeping 78

Down the Stairs and out the Door 79

Scholar, Glancing up from Her Cone of Light 81

Passage 82


The Thesis Is That There Was a Beginning 85

Ciyptogram Notes 95

About the Author 99

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Who Said 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poems I already know, with new content. Fun, strange, and insightful.