Landscape with Arson

Off to visit the Sespe, which is still badly scared from the epic Day Fire of four years back…which brings to mind a memorable new poem from Jennifer Grotz at the New England Review, via Poetry Daily: Landscape with Arson Have you ever watched a cigarette released from a driver's fingers swim through the nightContinue reading “Landscape with Arson”

Climate, by Emily Dickinson

#1295 I think that the Root of the Wind is Water —It would not sound so deepWere it a Firmamental Product–Airs no Ocean keep —Mediterranean intonations —To a Current's Ear —There is a maritime convictionIn the Atmosphere — She's utterly correct, of course. It's quite astounding how much the atmosphere can resemble the ocean inContinue reading “Climate, by Emily Dickinson”

Horton Foote, Rest in Peace

One of the greatest of modern American writers, Horton Foote, died yesterday after a long and lovely life. Foote may be most famous for his screenplay adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," among many other great works, but many of his fans like best of all his story of a spiritual journey an old womanContinue reading “Horton Foote, Rest in Peace”

Hard Times, Kind People — What We Need in 2009, Says Lao Tzu

Have been reading a fascinating book about affective science, called Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life So what, you might say. These are hard times! I can't waste energy on frivolities! But what if the race amongst us hominids — chimps and people alike — goes not to the biggest, brawniest,Continue reading “Hard Times, Kind People — What We Need in 2009, Says Lao Tzu”

A Real — and Popular — Poet: Inger Christensen, RIP

We've had some discussion lately of poets, real and otherwise, beloved and otherwise, which is why I must link to a fascinating tribute to Inger Christensen, a poet revered in Denmark, who just died. Fascinating because Christensen was both hugely popular in Denmark, probably more so than any poet in our language except perhaps BobContinue reading “A Real — and Popular — Poet: Inger Christensen, RIP”

The Future of Love

Finally will it not be enough,after much living, aftermuch love, after much dyingof those you have loved,to sit on the porch near sundownwith your eyes simply open,watching the wind shape the cloudsinto the shapes of clouds? Even then you will rememberthe history of love, shaped in the shapes of flesh, everchanbgngas the clouds that pass,Continue reading “The Future of Love”

The End of Progress — in Poetry as in Life

A couple of years ago the poet Tony Hoagland published (here) an essay about the allusive nature of most modern American poetry, in which narrative — storytelling — had fallen by the wayside. Hoagland wasn’t happy about that, but he understood why it had happened. He quoted the great Carolyn Forche: Our age lacks theContinue reading “The End of Progress — in Poetry as in Life”