The Paris Review

Poetry Rx: Sometimes Sadness Is Just What Comes between the Dancing

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Claire Schwartz is on the line.

©ELLIS ROSEN

Dear Poets,

I’m in a stable tumultuous relationship. I love my partner dearly, and she returns my enthusiasm. Some of the time. There are days when I feel love radiating off her, and others when I could not buy a kind word or any showing of support. I realize all relationships have ups and downs, and I’ve come to accept and respect my partner’s moods. Still, I find it very difficult to cope with things when I am on her bad side, especially if I myself am suffering. I try my best to communicate this to

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Summer Surprised Us
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review4 min read
Daša Drndić’s ‘EEG’ And The Joys Of Pessimism
Daša Drndić The most convincing literary pessimists are superior stylists. They smooth their nihilistic impulses into pleasing shapes. Despair is largely inimical to art, while melancholy—its pensive, perfumed cousin—makes of the void something parad
The Paris Review6 min read
Winter
Photo: Paxson Woelber, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)). Still sometimes late at night it slides in—what it felt like to think of my brother Tom outside. In the coldest seasons of his years of homelessne