Ekphrastic poetry

For those of us working in all kinds of genres: Moonrise, Aurora, Nebraska by Twyla Hansen No Ansel Adams but the snapshots we captured through the open car window on our eight megapixel cell phones on the side of the road off an exit ramp as truck taillights streaked eastbound opposite the earth’s rotation in…

Allow the self to be distracted — (Ars Poetica XVI)

—  wasting time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle *   Susan Hiller: Dream Mapping (1973/74)  Dream Mapping, 1973 was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an…

Sunday Poem on a Tuesday

Oasis Beth Bachmann We want what God wants: to be pure. Take the water. We’ll pay for it in glass. Poseidon, now there’s a god, a real king of water. We want what a god wants: to own it, all. Water baron, barren woman, what do you know of the sea? The sea never ceases…

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…

Grace

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”…

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…

This fear we call stress

Following the Road by Larry Smith from A River Remains. © Word Tech Editions, 2006.   I have left my wife at the airport, flying out to help our daughter whose baby will not eat. And I am driving on to Kent to hear some poets read tonight.   I don’t know what to do with…

Short Talk On Housing

I have entered a new year of bookish life together with an old friend of mine, Anne Carson, or her texts, to be more precise. Close reading, slowly finding my way through her Short Talks. Here is how today started: Short Talk On Housing Here is one thing you can do if you have no…

. 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 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…

Sunday Poem (the air smelling like salamanders)

Wet Autumn by Tom Hennen Early morning, everything damp all through. Cars go by. A ripping sound of tires through water. For two days the air Has smelled like salamanders. The little lake on the edge of town hidden in fog, Its cattails and island gone. All through the gloom of the dark week Bright…