A Favorite Quote from a New Dimensions Guest : Mary Mackey

POSTED February 12, 2020 IN
Archived Inspirational Quotes

So often in life things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be a great, good fortune.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of my heroes and this quote is inspiring particularly if you’re feeling like your life isn’t moving in exactly the right direction. In my particular instance, as an undergraduate at Harvard, I had no mentors. Because I was female I was not allowed to use the undergraduate library or even enter it. I was the only woman admitted to the one creative writing class at Harvard and basically I had no one teaching me poetry. I could not go to the big, Harvard poetry room in the Harvard undergraduate library so I couldn’t hear any great poets read. I was all on my own and, for many years, I felt hurt by this. I felt if I’d only had a chance I would have been published more; I would have been recognized more; somebody would have seen me as a poet earlier. But in retrospect I realize that if that had happened I would have been a good girl and I would have written exactly like the great white male poets at the time. Instead, I became different, weird, original, strange. I wrote about things other people weren’t writing about like the tropical jungles of Costa Rica. I traveled into the Amazon in Brazil and I became a completely different person. I wrote poetry that is my poetry in my voice. Harvard accidentally, by discriminating against me, gave me my poetic voice. So, I have to thank them for that.”



Mary Mackey, poet, screenwriter, novelist, and author of the
Earthsong Series – covering the lives of the people of Neolithic Europe and
The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams:  New and Selected Poems 1974 through 2018

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