Ms. Muse: ‘Only Freeish’ in America

“For the first time in my life, I felt allergic to poetry. A radical, rogue Supreme Court decided Americans with uteruses no longer have the human right to control our own bodies but are subject to the whims of our state. I couldn’t bear to read a poem. … Then came Independence Day. The painful irony of a July 4 on the heels of such profound loss of liberty left me suddenly hungry for words. I needed poems the way some need scripture.”

Ms. Muse: Mary Oliver’s Escape

The fact that this master poet, in the last decade of her life, felt inspired by other women writers to be “braver”—and worked to write those new poems—suggests that Mary Oliver finally exited the building that had once sucked all the air out of her body, and escaped that “broken house” of her childhood once and for all.