McHugh, Heather

United States, (b. 1948)

Philosopher Orders Crispy Pork

  1. I love him so, this creature I do pray
  2. was treated kindly. I will pay
  3. as much as pig-lovers see fit
  4.  
  5. to guarantee him that. As for his fat,
  6. I’d give up years yes years of my
  7. own life for such
  8.  
  9. a gulpable semblable.
  10. (My life! Such as it is! This
  11. liberality of leaves! The world
  12.  
  13. won’t need those seventeen more
  14. poems, after all, there being
  15. so few subjects to be treated. Three
  16.  
  17. if by subject we mean anyone
  18. submitted to another’s
  19. will. Two if by subject we mean
  20.  
  21. topic. One if by death we wind up
  22. meaning love. And none if a subject
  23. must entail
  24.  
  25. the curlicue’s indulgence of itself.)

© Heather McHugh. Upgraded to Serious. Copper Canyon Press (2009).

About the Poet:

Heather McHugh (b. 1948) is a U.S. poet, translator and teacher. McHugh received a B.A. (1970) from Harvard University and an M.A. (1972) from the University of Denver. Her work is noted for its rhetorical gestures, sharp puns and interest in the materials of language itself—her self-described determination is “to follow every surge of language, every scrap and flotsam.” She is the author of thirteen books of poetry, translation, and literary essays.

From 1999 to 2006 McHugh served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and she is currently Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle, a post she has held since 1984. In alternating semesters, McHugh has taught at the low-residency MFA Program for Writers (now at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C.) since its second year of existence in New England some decades ago.

Her books of poetry include: Upgraded to Serious (2009), Eyeshot (2004), The Father of Predicaments (2001), Hinge and Sign: Poems, 1968-1993 (1994), A World of Difference (1981), Dangers (1977) among others.

McHugh is also a noted translator and in 2001 she and her husband the scholar Nikolai Popov won the Griffin International Poetry Prize in translation for Glottal Stops: 101 Poems of Paul Celan. McHugh has also translated the Bulgarian poet Blaga Dimitrova, the French Jean Follain and, with classicist David Konstan, Euripides’s play Cyclops (2001). [DES-03/12]

Additional information:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.