I am grateful to have come to poetry as a woman and as a mother, joyfully connected to the reproductive rhythms of the living earth, fearfully awakened to the possibilities of the future, the environmental dangers we now face on a global scale. The heroic maternal practice of intimate, daily caring of growing children, with very little social support, while at the same time competing with less-encumbered colleagues in the professional arena, taught me strength and courage to wrestle with the pervasive despair of our time, to reach beyond the fashionable postmodern stances of irony and exposé and shared narcissisms toward more intersubjective, recreative, reparative strategies to confront the daunting challenges of our age.
There is mystery at the heart of poetry: people want to know the recipe, but there is none. There is what Don McKay calls "poetic attention," to the beauty and ugliness, joy and suffering, of everything around you, there is the heightened attentiveness to sound, rhythm, image, breath, spacing. The grand struggle with form, the impossible leap between the blood, the wild heart, rooted in primitive, fantastic memories and sensations and dreams and desires, and the page in front of you, the here and now, the material world in front of you, the solid or rickety stage you stand on.
- Di Brandt, in her afterword to the book Speaking of Power: The Poetry of Di Brandt.