Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
NEA GRANT -- NEW SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
Through the Town of Franconia, The Frost Place has gratefully received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a "Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Review Grant." This is the first grant of its kind made by the NEA in the state of New Hampshire during the past four years.•The NEA offers this type of support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The grant provides support for the Frost Place poetry conferences in general, and in addition, funds four scholarships for qualified conference attendees.
Applicants for the NEA scholarships will first need to apply for admittance into one of the Frost Place conferences. On your application, please indicate if you would like to be considered for scholarship assistance. Upon acceptance, please send an email letter citing need and qualifications to the attention of Deming Holleran, at. You will then be informed whether you qualify for this or one of the other Frost Place scholarships.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
When I Heard the Learn'd AstronomerWalt WhitmanWhen I heard the learn'd astronomer,When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,and measure them,When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applausein the lecture-room,How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,In the mystical moist night air, and from time to time,Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood. In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a little girl; wide awake and longing to get up, but not daring to do so for fear of the unseen power in the next room; a certain Betty, whose slumbers must not be disturbed until six o'clock struck, when she wakened of herself "as sure as clockwork," and left the household very little peace afterwards. It was a June morning, and early as it was, the room was full of sunny warmth and light.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
from Letter to Jane, a collection of Hayden Carruth's letters to Jane Kenyon, written during the year she was dying of leukemia.I have been reading nothing but novels of crime and espionage, drug-store books, what we used to call "cheap-screw fiction." And I can't remember most of the time what was on the previous page as I'm reading. It doesn't matter any more. Reading is not for information but for the flow of language and the old associations in my head.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"Last year Sister McCandless had held an impromptu service in the unbelieving subway car she played the tambourine and sang and exhorted sinners and passed through the train distributing tracts. Not everyone had found this admirable, to some [in the church] it seemed that Sister McCandless was being a little ostentatious. 'I praise my Redeemer wherever I go,' she retorted defiantly. 'Holy Ghost don't leave me when I leave the church. I got a every day religion.'"
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
"Now you look here! The first thing you got to understand is that all this uplift and flipflop and settlement-work and recreation is nothing in God's world by the entering wedge for socialism. The sooner a man learns he isn't going to be coddled, and he needn't expect a lot of free grub and, uh, all these free classes and flipflop and doodads for his kids unless he earns 'em, why, the sooner he'll get on the job and produce--produce--produce! That's what the country needs, and not all this fancy stuff that just enfeebles the will-power of the working man and gives his kids a lot of notions above their class!"
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Bright morning in a garden chair
on the esplanade, mummified, half-prone,
amid shawls and thick rugs,
pleased to watch the steady wavelets
chink among the stones of the shingle,
the rain-dark weed; couples sprinkled
athwart the plage in rational pairings,
small ones crouched at the margin
of the tongued sea, white-frocked mothers
paused above them, parasols bowing
under the clean wind like cormorants.
And we helpless, not unhappy ones
also take the air—infants, fragile parents,
consumptive collectors of nature—
our rôle in the seaside schema clear
as looking-glass to any novelist
or digging child: we are the audience,
safely tucked beyond a cavernous
proscenium: no change, no dénouement;
our part mere endless, watchful pause.
Even I could pencil volumes in the room
of this eternal morning, placid time arrested,
every actor idle now, except my wife.
Fifty paces lonely, down the gravel walk,
she ducks the crown of her hat
gravely into wind—so thin, so spare,
yet she presses forward and away,
eager ship bound for passage,
fruit of the Indies sweet as her mind’s eye,
though her only voyage is this solitary
foray to the jetty, servant of wind and salt,
gull-compass, adrift in the northern sea.
How simply she recedes.
A gust lifts the hem of her dress: and half
my heart cries desolation,
half croons its own brief hymn to solitude.
Even ardent sentinels require space
for love, a narrowed lens,
each elastic link of habit tense
and re-invigoured by our loneliness.
Tide splinters over pebbles, a rampant gust
seizes heedless gulls; the mothers on the beach
cling to parasols; and on the esplanade,
we invalids rustle in our chairs,
alarmed by autumn’s deadly kiss.
Far down the jetty, my doll-wife pauses,
then turns, landward, hands to her hat,
brim bent, dark ribbons flying.
Now is the season of departure,
rich kick of wings into the east wind,
an avian ecstasy of sinew and speed.
Nothing seems less likely than return,
and yet her lips shape a query.
What rights have the earthbound
to answer nay? I raise my book aloft,
air drums between us like a harp-string,
and she begins to laugh, one glove
clutching her hat, the other
her fluttered skirt: the wind tears
at her hair; and laughing still,
she flings up both hands to me,
to the gull-current, sky
awash with ribbons, with silk;
and she runs.
[first published in the Connecticut Review]
Dinner tonight: bay scallops with lemon and white wine and parsley and butter, and maybe I'll make spatzle as well.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Song. That Women Are But Men's ShadowsBen JonsonFollow a shadow, it still flies you;Seem to fly it, it will pursue:So court a mistress, she denies you;Let her alone, she will court you.Say, are not women truly, then,Styled but the shadows of us men?At morn, and even, shades are longest;At noon, they are or short, or none:So men at weakest, they are strongest,But grant us perfect, they're not known.Say, are not women truly then,Styled but the shadows of us men?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
at school is against the rules,
so when a spike-haired
first grader in need
butts up against your hip,
don’t you wrap your arms
round his skinny bones, don’t you
cup his skull in your palms,
smooth a knuckle up his baby cheek:
he’s got lice, he’s got AIDS;
you kiss him, you die,
or worse: late nights, he’ll hunch up small,
stare into some laugh show
and whisper what no half-pissed dad
cares to hear from his wife’s
kid at the end of a long day
of nothing, when sleep
is the only country,
anywhere else, terror:
a father you’ve marked
before, slouching into parent night,
two hands trembling
along his thighs like birds
black eyes wary as a bull’s:
he blinks at the butcher,
you smile, you fold
your unheld hands;
what roils in his wake is the one
you won’t teach
to beg an answer from love.
[first published in the Beloit Poetry Journal; a PDF is available on the journal's website]
Friday, February 6, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
From the forthcoming How the Crimes Happened. This, in a nutshell, is how they happened.
Clumsy bones, sweet stumbled heart,
wail your crack-brained tears,
hunt me in the dark,
shake me blue, crush me in your wire fingers,
kiss my jagged mouth,
open me wide,
shove heartbreak through my hundred
stubborn veins, play me for a fool, I’m so,
unsatisfied, oh clutch my throat,
cry for me, over and over,
I bite fingers, I lick salt.
[first published in the Cafe Review]
Dinner tonight: pork chops, shiitake mushrooms, pilaf, salad; and please, please, no sick children.
Monday, February 2, 2009
from On Mr Milton's 'Paradise Lost'Andrew Marvell (of "To His Coy Mistress" fame)Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despiseMy causeless, yet not impious surmise.But I am now convinced that none will dareWithin thy labors to pretend a share.Thou hast not missed one thought that could be fit,And all that was improper dost omit:So that no room is here for writers left,But to detect their ignorance or theft.