Women Poets of the West cover photo
  • Series: Modern & Contemporary 09
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-916272-08-1
  • ISBN-10: 0-916272-08-7
  • Pages: 120
  • Size: 0.25 x 6.0 x 8.5 in
  • Price: $16.95

Women Poets of the West

Tom Trusky, ed.

“Loneliness, space, fortitude, enforced by a stark expansive landscape, are the symbols that permeate this book. It was for the poets to coalesce this feeling, to distill it from the vastly varying regions of the west, for, in the words of Hildegarde Flanner, when

. . . patience like the burning of a rock
Turns passion, then will the land be ours.”

—Ann Stanford, from the introduction

Includes poems by Eliza Snow, Ina Coolbrith, Ella Higginson, Sharlot Hall, Alice Corbin, Hazel Hall, Mary Austin, Genevieve Taggard, Hildegarde Flanner, Gwendolen Haste, Janet Lewis, Peggy Pond Church, Nellie Burget Miller, and Peggy Simson Curry.

The Nuclear Physicists

by Peggy Pond Church


These are the men who

working secretly at night and against great odds

and in what peril they know not of their own souls

invoked for man's sake the most ancient archetype of evil

and bade this go forth and save us at Hiroshima

and again at Nagasaki.


We had thought the magicians were all dead, but this was the blackest of magic.

There was even the accompaniment of fire and brimstone,

the shape of evil, towering leagues high into heaven

in terrible, malevolent beauty, and, beneath, the bare trees

made utterly leafless in one instant, and the streets where no one

moved, and some walls still standing

eyeless, and as silent as before Time.


These are the men who

now with aching voices

and with eyes that have seen too far into the world's fate,

tell us what they have done and what we must do.

In words that conceal apocalypse they warn us

what compact with evil was signed in the name of all the living,

and how, if we demand that Evil keep his bargain,

we must keep ours, and yield our living spirits

into the irrevocable service of destruction.


Now we, in our wilderness, must reject the last temptation:

the kingdoms of earth and all the power and the glory,

and bow before the Lord our God, and serve Him

whose still small voice, after the wind, the earthquake,

the vision of fire, still speaks to those who listen

and will the world's good.


from Women Poets of the West, copyright © 1978 by Ahsahta Press