As a college student, Maxine loved to write and mustered the courage to take some of her poems to her instructor. He read them and said to her, "Say it with flowers, but for God's sake don't try to write poems."
His response crushed Maxine, and she took his advice.
It would be seven years before she would bring forth her poetry again. But this time her writings received a better response from others, and eventually she became a successful author.
So successful that in 1973, her fourth book of poetry, "Up Country" won the Pulitzer Prize.
But Maxine received many other awards as well, among them; in 1981-82 she became what is now called U.S. poet laureate, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on a poet.
Maxine was also the New Hampshire poet laureate from 1989 to 1994, the state where she lived. There she and her family had a farm where they kept horses and raised organic vegetables.
In addition to being a highly acclaimed author, Maxine also taught at such prestigious universities as Brandeis, Columbia, Princeton and Tufts.
But then tragedy struck.
In 1998, 73 year old Maxine, a veteran horsewoman was preparing for a carriage-driving show when a passing truck spooked her horse.
She was thrown from the 350 pound carriage, which the panicked horse pulled over her. Maxine suffered major internal injuries, including 11 broken ribs and a broken neck. For months her neck and head were locked into a cervical-traction collar and she would live with immense pain.
But even that didn't stop Maxine from writing, in part with the assistance of her daughter Judith, who typed her spoken words.
In all, Maxine would write more than three dozen books, including her memoir, children's stories, and collectives of short stories and essays.
Even at the age of 88, in February of 2014 when Maxine passed away, her pen was not stilled. Because she wrote until the end of her life, this spring her "And Short the Season," is scheduled for publication as is "Lizzie!" a novel, much to the joy of her many readers.
In her personal life, Maxine married Victor Kumin in 1946 and for what would have been 68 years they remained married until her passing. As a couple they were blessed with three children and two grandchildren.
This was Maxine, a woman who maintained balance in her life, able to have a highly successful career, be a loving wife and mother, a horsewoman, and a devout Boston Red Sox baseball fan as well.