Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture

Last night I attended a marvelous talk by Rachel Tzvia Back, called “‘This Bequest of Wings’ on Teaching Poetry in a Region of Conflict.” It was one of a series of lectures sponsored by Ray Lifchez in memory of his … Continue reading

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Memorial Day

An editorial in the paper reminded me that on Memorial Day we remember those who died in the war; on Veterans Day we remember the ones who returned. In either case, not just a day added to the weekend, but a day … Continue reading

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Culling the flock

As a farmer, I have to treat my hens without sentiment; when they pass their peak laying year, they have to go. This week I took the oldest hens, the beautiful Black Australorps, and gave them to my Ethiopian friend, who eats them. … Continue reading

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Dull subjects

In a humorous essay about poetry, William Matthews suggested there are only four subjects for poems: 1. I went out into the woods today, and it made me feel, you know, sort of religious. 2. We’re not getting any younger. 3. … Continue reading

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Randy Neuman

A few years ago, we heard Randy Neuman live at the San Francisco Opera House. Although his voice isn’t what it once was, his showmanship is brilliant. When the children were small we taught them “Political Science,” and it would be … Continue reading

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An  Elegy

A friend leant me Inventions of Farewell, A Book of Elegies, by Sandra Gilbert. This is a wonderful collection and in the introduction she references a passage on “elephant grief” from Fragments on the Deathwatch, by Louise Harmon, which in turn cites a National Geographic … Continue reading

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A slight departure

I realized today that I have avoided putting older poems here–Marvell, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, for example. I’ve selected contemporary poems not only to avoid poems that everyone probably read in high school, but also because they seem more accessible, more alive. But … Continue reading

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Deep Litter

I have been raising my chickens in a large run covered in layers of various hay, straw, grass, etc.  This is called the “deep litter” method, that I read about in Juliette de Baïracli Levi’s Herbal Handbook for Farm & Stable, a … Continue reading

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