Passing Through

A short story of excellence, dedication and perseverance & of the joy and importance of meaning-making: Ted Kooser (1939) was the 13th Poet Laureate of the United States and received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2005.

On pain and solace

There can be no beauty without the ghost of pain held within it. Although the wind … BY IZUMI SHIKIBU – TRANSLATED BY JANE HIRSHFIELD   from The Ink Dark Moon (Vintage Books, 1990)  

Looking for the subtle signs –

Here is a great poem for you: Peak Summerby Eric Nixon We’re steeped deep in summerAnd everything around meSeems to indicate it’ll never endBut still I’m spending timeLooking for the subtle signsTrying to figure out whenWe’ve reached peak summerWhen the billion green treesStart to dull ever so slightlyWhen the bounty of vegetablesFound at all the…

Sunday poem

Rereading Frost by Linda Pastan Sometimes I think all the best poems have been written already, and no one has time to read them, so why try to write more? At other times though, I remember how one flower in a meadow already full of flowers somehow adds to the general fireworks effect as you…

some days …

Even in Kyoto —hearing the cuckoo’s cry —I long for Kyoto. Matsuo Basho (tr. Robert Hass) Matsuo Basho

Looking at boulders

There are few things I like better than a great ekphrastic poem: Adjacent,Against, Upon Rick Barot —after Michael Heizer I may be looking at the set of boulders that is now in front of me, but it is you I am addressing. You are near or you are far, depending on the accuracy of the…

Can or can’t see the word for the trees …

“Trees” (1913) I think that I shall never seeA poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prestAgainst the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day,And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wearA nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose…

Ruins of Nostalgia

Browsing David Orr’s list of “Best Poetry of 2018” I came across the poet Donna Stonecipher, whom I had never heard of. And naturally I decided to check her up — this is what I found (or at least some of it…). Happy reading! The Ruins of Nostalgia 1 In the fall we were nostalgic…

“I never really separated painting and literature.”

Claire Daigle writes: In 1959 Twombly executed some of the most spare works of his career, among them the 24 drawings that comprise Poems to the Sea, done on the coast of Italy. What order of poems, punctuated with numerals and question marks, are these? The sea is reduced to horizon line and word, scribblings and…

I DON’T LIKE HEARING that poetry is dying or dead –

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems… Possibilities I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case. I…