Sunday Poem

Things to Think by Robert Bly Think in ways you’ve never thought before. If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message Larger than anything you’ve ever heard, Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats. Think that someone may bring a bear to your door, Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a … More Sunday Poem


Lucky All this time, the life you were supposed to live has been rising around you like the walls of a house designed with warm harmonious lines.   As if you had actually planned it that way.   As if you had stacked up bricks at random, and built by mistake a lucky star. “Lucky” … More Grace

Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to … More Notes on Melancholy, part 4

. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive. . ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus NOVEMBER TWO BLUE (2013), from Reading November Series  © Mary Ellen Bartley .  

Ars Poetica IX (You must seek your central rhythm in order to find out who you are)

I dream of an art so transparent that you can look through and see the world.   From “Reflections” by Stanley Kunitz: Years ago I came to the realization that the most poignant of all lyric tensions stems from the awareness that we are living & dying at once. To embrace such knowledge and yet … More Ars Poetica IX (You must seek your central rhythm in order to find out who you are)

Ars Poetica VII

From Mary Oliver: “My Friend Walt Whitman” … I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple—or a green field—a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing—an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness—wonderful as that part of it is. I learned … More Ars Poetica VII