Ruth Stone [below] was rocked to sleep in her mother’s arms to the sound of Tennyson’s verse. A poet all her life, she died in 2011 aged 96. In 2009 her collection What Love Comes To was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. This poem, included in her 2002 National Book Award-winning collection In the Next Galaxy, is about ageing, a topic she returned to again and again.Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.
When you come back to me
It will be crow time
And flycatcher time,
With rising spirals of gnats
Between the apple trees.
Every weed will be quadrupled,
To listen read a tribute to Ruth Stone on her death, published in the New York Times, click here.
‘In the Next Galaxy’ by Ruth Stone [Copper Canyon Press]