Monthly Archives: October 2016

Pinsky

I took Robert Pinsky’s new book of poems with me on a trip this weekend, but when I came back, I opened his Selected Poems to this, which has the flavor of the cantor in the Jewish service, the singing, incantatory … Continue reading

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First rain

In Japan, they have festivals for the cherry blossoms each spring. Here in California, it doesn’t rain for months and then, suddenly, does. So I think we need a First Rain Festival. We could have hot food and umbrella dances, … Continue reading

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Clive James, master of the exemplary sentence

It’s always a thrill when someone I’ve just discovered, and therefore think must be obscure, turns out to be well known. This happened recently with Clive James, a poet, critic, and essayist whose latest book on DVD collections was recently … Continue reading

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Wendell Berry

Given the incessant clamor of news, this poem seems appropriate. The Peace Of Wild Things When despair grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives … Continue reading

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The Yacon

My neighbor gave me a few Yacon rhizomes a couple of years ago, and now I have a Yacon forest. This Peruvian vegetable looks a lot like a sunflower, with long stalks and heavy green leaves, but the flowers are smaller. Underground, … Continue reading

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Hiding the brush strokes

  A friend forwarded an article from Matthew Weiner  (the creator of the TV series Mad Men)  on writing. He makes the point that writers often pretend there’s little work involved in creating their final piece, but that the process is … Continue reading

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My one day as a poetry teacher

In tenth grade, I convinced my teacher to let me do a unit on poetry.  I started with this poem by e. e. cummings, which is labeled simply “20” in his 100 selected poems, which I still have. It is battered and … Continue reading

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An exemplary sentence

How have I missed Dennis Lehane until now? I just read (according to the book jacket) his 12th book, The Drop. It’s a stunner. It’s hard to know which sentences to quote. Here are a few. Chovka is a Chechen mob … Continue reading

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Danusha Laméris

I was so lucky to read with Danusha Laméris at the Poetry World Series last May. This is from her book, The Moons of August. If you don’t know who Temple Grandin is, her book is worth reading, too. Interview … Continue reading

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