Dickinson Death March

I picked up [amazon 0674676246 inline] at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts a couple of years back.

There is much of Emily that I like very much. I like the little visuals - "Snow flakes. I counted till they danced so Their slippers leaped the town..." That alone is worth discovering 45 poems in. Read more about Dickinson Death March


Poetry and Its Disenchantments

Poetry is an evocation, a metaphor, a simple simile – a distillation – there you have it – much better word – of something that prose takes an exponential increase of words to relay.

With this in mind, I once tried to convince a professor that the ten-page paper he required once a week could perhaps be served just as well in a one-page poem. I have been cursed with unimaginative teachers – that is, with teachers unwilling to enter the world of my imagination. Read more about Poetry and Its Disenchantments


How Do You Mean A Poem?

A Facebook entry the other day by a friend reminded me of an old friend of a book, John Ciardi's [amazon 0395186056 inline] .

"A poem is to be experienced, not simply interpreted. Unlike prose, a poem is primarily a performance."

And the best way I have found to experience a poem is to read it aloud, for the taste of the words in your mouth. Read more about How Do You Mean A Poem?


The Eyes Have It

"The eye is an organ of information processing
firmly connected to -
anatomically speaking -
the brain." Steven Pinker, [amazon 0393318486 inline] , reimagined as a poem.

"The eye is the most autonomous of our organs...
because the objects of its attention are inevitably
situated on the outside.

beauty is where the eye rests

a tear is an acknowledgement
of the retina's...failure to retain beauty Read more about The Eyes Have It


Grass Grown

About 40 years ago I lived on an 80 acre farm in Door County, Wisconsin. It was the only time in my life that I wrote poetry. At least, the only time that I wrote poetry almost all the time. When I wrote at all. Milking goats and weeding gardens take up a lot of time.

It was a beautiful time and, as I worked around the farm, bits and pieces of poems came to me. When I was lucky, I would remember them later and write them down. Some were inspired by the land, some by friends, some by family. A few expressed unfulfilled longings of my own. Read more about Grass Grown