Shaheer Pulikkal interviews American Poet Laura Hogan, Poet of Mercy and Intellectual Thoughts
Laura Reece Hogan is the author of Litany of Flights (Paraclete Press, 2020), winner of the Paraclete Poetry Prize, the chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press), and the nonfiction book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she is one of ten poets featured in the anthology In a Strange Land (Cascade Books). Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Scientific American, The Christian Century, America, Lily Poetry Review, Rust + Moth, Amsterdam Quarterly, and other publications. For more about her work, please visit www.laurareecehogan.com.
Shaheer Pulikkal: In your poem “On Adoring You,” there is a line in which the speaker says, “for love is stronger than death.” Can you imagine that you are not the writer, and interpret that text?
Laura Hogan: That particular line comes right out of a text I love from the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon. It is a declaration about the power of love by the Bride to her Bridegroom, figures which have been associated sometimes with the individual soul and God. I occasionally use scripture references in my work to create layers of resonance, and here that reference evokes, I hope, a timeless sense of trust in love beyond even the power of death.
But certainly, a reader doesn’t need to know that text to get the message of this line. The speaker of this poem is sharing her trust in the ultimate power of love to overcome obstacles which include pain and unknowing. This speaker clearly believes that love transforms life and that its power prevails over the loss and even death.