Claudia Emerson died a few days ago. Seven years ago, during my MA program, my friend Mary shared her book Late Wife with me. We swooned over her sonnets. This book brought me back to writing poetry after years of not writing. I had been focused on reading literature critically. But these poems made me think – I want to do that. I hadn’t had that feeling for a long time. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.
A few months later, my first husband and I separated and eventually divorced. I couldn’t have known at the time I first read Emerson’s poems how important they would become to me. In her finely wrought, conversational lines, I found a way forward. And I found comfort.
Here is some comfort for those of you also mourning the loss of Emerson — a video of Emerson playing guitar with her husband, musician Kent Ippolito, and one of Mary’s and my favorite poems: “Daybook.”