Poet of the Day – Christina Lovin

National Poetry Month April 13, 2020

Christina Lovin

“Even a rock has insides/
        smash one and see…”
               ~Molly Peacock, “How I Come to You”
Back up that long hill
ruts and rocks shaking me
awake once more
after so long.
Not much changed.
You, the same:
unbreakable exterior
concealing contradictions
secreted beneath
that stony shell.
But the three-legged
mongrel made me cry—
her open joy so uncontained
on sight of me.
New, the dozens of geodes
lining the walk and patio.
Many broken. Open.
Glittering brittle crystal
in the slant sunlight.
Some closed. Rigid
armor untouched.
Their brilliant, starry hearts
hidden, unknown.
Finalist, 2017 Still Journal Writing Contest (Unpublished)
  1. What inspired you to write this poem?

“Geodes” is from a personal experience. A man with whom I had broken off a relationship called me because his car had broken down near my home. I picked him up, then took him to his home, which is in a remote area not far away. Much of the poem is literal. The three-legged dog, Trillium, had been my dog before she went to live with him on his farm. The geodes were just as depicted here, lining the walk and patio. It is a poem of love lost, and more.

2. What do you like about this poem?

I love including an animal in a poem, so being able to portray the continual love of Trillium, against the loss of love of the man, pleases me. This was the last time I drove up that hill to that particular place, and I don’t expect to be invited again. This poem is like a snapshot of a place where I once spent a lot of time.

3. What would you change about this poem?

Actually, it’s been changed many times. The stanzas have been shifted around, but this is the iteration I find most pleasing. It’s been suggested to end with the three-legged dog, but I need to remember that the reason I am no longer welcome there is the hard-hearted man.

4. Where, when, and how often do you write?

I do not write at specific times. I am a full-time professor, so I am constantly reading and grading students’ writing. I tend to be more of a “strike while the iron is hot” writer. I have bits of paper with parts of poems stowed everywhere. It is rare for me to sit down and write a poem in entirety anymore.

5. What poetry books are you reading right now?

I can’t limit myself to specific poetry books right now. I am teaching a graduate course in teaching poetry this semester, so I am revisiting many of my favorite poets: Li-Young Lee, Carolyn Forché, W. S. Merwin, Gerald Stern, Thomas Lux, and some older favorites: Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman. I’ve gone back to some of the poets and poetry I remember from grade school: Christina Rosetti, William Blake, and others, as well.

Link to my website: www.christinalovin.com  

Links to books: 


A Stirring in the Dark: http://oldseventycreekpress.com/books-by-other-authors.html

Flesh:  https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/flesh-by-christina-lovin/

Little Fires: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/little-fires-by-christina-lovin-nwvs-55/

What We Burned for Warmth: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/what-we-burned-for-warmth-by-christina-lovin/