Monthly Archives: October 2014

Cornelius Eady

I took a workshop one day from Cornelius Eady at Squaw Valley. It was my favorite session of the week, almost at the end, everyone exhausted, hardly a poem to be found in any of us. Cornelius, upbeat, made it all … Continue reading

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Secular Love

If you’ve heard of Michael Ondaatje, it’s probably as the author of The English Patient, which was made into the movie (lampooned by Elaine on Seinfeld). But Ondaatje is that rare author who writes equally well in multiple formats. His memoir, … Continue reading

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A taste of freedom

When I saw signs for Burger King, Subway, KFC, McDonald’s in Russia I thought about how we export the worst of our culture–it contaminates everything. But when I was in St. Petersburg, I read an article by Mitya Kushelevich in the St. Petersburg … Continue reading

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Monday poem

I’ve been thinking about this little syllabic by Sylvia Plath, a riddle of nine lines, each with nine syllables: Metaphors I’m a riddle in nine syllables, An elephant, a ponderous house, A melon strolling on two tendrils. O red fruit, … Continue reading

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Final trip post

We are actually safely home, but I do have a few last thoughts on our trip, in no particular order I loved the big car-free squares and pedestrian walkways of Prague and Krakow. I wish we did something similar here–it makes … Continue reading

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A grim visit

Over 500,000 people a year visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, really one big camp separated by two miles of road. It’s hard to say anything about this experience–it seems like science fiction, even though you are walking through it. The question that occurs over … Continue reading

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A miscellany

Today is our last morning in Eastern Europe, but I have several days worth of posts to continue. This one, our day in Kazimierz, the old Jewish section of Krakow. This area seems very lively and energized, with youth hostels … Continue reading

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Not typical tourism

A hazy morning. We walked along the Vistula–aren’t all great cities by water?–past the old Jewish section of town, Kazimerz, to the museum that’s been created in the former location of the Schindler factory. The river was lovely, the walk … Continue reading

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Polish poetry

I’ve been reading through the luminous translations Mira Rosenthal has done of the work of Tomasz Różycki, a contemporary Polish poet. It’s a delight to read them here in Krakow, where they take on an additional resonance, although Różycki is from Opole, … Continue reading

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Sights

The first thing we do in each new city is get a little tourist map from the hotel that gives a basic outline of the city and lists the main sights. I thought about this wandering around Krakow yesterday, so many … Continue reading

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