Monthly Archives: June 2012

Mandelstam, Olympic trials, memories of Oregon

The other day I mentioned the poem about Stalin that led to Mandelstam’s exile and eventual death. Mandelstam recited it to a gathering of intellectuals at Boris Pasternak’s home one evening. Someone at that gathering informed on him. (Someone will always … Continue reading

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Poetry, repression and fame

I stumbled across a small set of chapbooks called Bloodaxe Poetry Introductions edited by Neil Astley in the UC stacks the other morning. The first one I opened had several interesting poets new to me, including a German, a Czech, and … Continue reading

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Monday, Monday

Does anyone remember the Mamas and the Papas? Of course, but only with nostalgia. Back in the 70s Larry commented that their music was dated. It startled me at the time, but of course, he was right. They are their … Continue reading

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What’s in a metaphor?

I have been rereading Tony Hoagland’s essays on poetry, called real sofistikashun. I’ve quoted from his poetry before. It’s a wonderfully readable book: lucid, insightful, and packed with analysis that actually illuminates what it discusses. I read it a few … Continue reading

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The one…

I thought I should revisit my “Blogs I read” listing, and discovered in the process that C. Dale is no longer adding to his blog, Avoiding the Muse. But I found an interesting question  there: which poem first captured your imagination? … Continue reading

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Musing on Hopkins, Beckett and Louis C. K.

Larry was getting ready last night to get up at 5:30 am and head out for his weekend softball tournament. Now that he’s turned 70, he’s moved up from the over-65 to the over-70 tournament team, and as one of … Continue reading

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What’s news?

The air you breathe may be killing you. More at 11. Okay, this isn’t a real leader for the news, but it represents the whole take on news these days–the scarier the better. I remember Emily Littella’s protest against “violins … Continue reading

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Actually , new bees!  Those of you who have been following this blog may remember the great adventure of the Haengekorb, in which my friend Laurie and I went to Sebastapol and bought a unique hanging basket hive, because I … Continue reading

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Sunday breakfast from the backyard

Today is a perfect Bay Area gem: warm, no fog looming, and the garden flourishing. I wandered out to feed the chickens and was seduced by the first English peas fat enough to pick. I pulled up a few scallions, … Continue reading

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This tent…

I’ve been up on the McCloud River for a few days, camping and learning how to fly fish–or at least how to cast. While there, I was reminded (by sleeping in one) how much I dislike tents–though maybe I’d like … Continue reading

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