I first met Annie Finch in 2003 through her book of poetry, Calendars. I bought the book because one of the epigraphs was a line by the poet Louise Bogan who I was also reading and loving at the time. That summer I brought Calendars and Bogan’s The Blue Estuaries with me and my 4 young children to my sister’s island cottage in Canada.
To be honest, I found I couldn’t “understand” the work of either of these poets, but this is what returned me to them every afternoon when my toddler napped. I learned quickly that reading Finch or Bogan at night, with my flashlight, my 3 year old tucked into my side, didn’t work.
My sister had a young daughter at the time too. Once all of the kids were in bed, we didn’t want to make any noise that might wake any of them. Our days, weeks, and months, the first of more than a decade of summers there, were cherished but exhausting. And I believe something about the setting – the hundreds of forested acres, the isolation, bathing in the lake, two women and many kids, and the absence of technology, of a hair dryer, of a washing machine, a telephone, an oven, men – opened me to the wild feminine pulsing through the poems.