Ruth Stone (1915-2011)

I learned only this morning, in Copper Canyon's spring catalogue, that poet Ruth Stone died on November 19, 2011. I have been a huge fan of Stone's work from the time I first read -- and memorized -- one of her poems in a little anthology I found when my husband and I were unpacking boxes in our first house. I own all of her recent books, and often feel as though she is providing guidance for me about how to be a wife and mother, and how to love a flawed and miraculous world. Here's both CC's note, in memoriam, and a poem:

Ruth Stone was born on June 8, 1915 and died on November 19, 2011. She wrote and published in relative obscurity, with limited financial resources but a wealth of dertermination and independence. She was a universe unto herself, whose magnetism and charm were undeniable.


In August we carried the old horsehair mattress
To the back porch
And slept with our children in a row.
The wind came up the mountain into the orchard
Telling me something;
Saying something was urgent.
I was happy.
The green apples fell on the sloping roof
And rattled down.
The wind was shaking me all night long;
Shaking me in my sleep
Like a definition of love,
Saying, this is the moment,
Here, now.

-Ruth Stone