from ManahattaWalt WhitmanTrottoirs throng'd, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the shops and shows,A million people--manners free and superb--open voices--hospitality--the most courageous and friendly young men,City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!City nested in bays! my city!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Watching the MeetJoan Arden [Milly Jourdain]The air is still so new and fresh and cold,It makes a warm excitement in our heartsTo drive beside the sad and lonely fields.And now we see a wider space of roadWhere groups of horsemen moving restlesslyAre waiting for the quiet-footed hounds.The hounds come swiftly, covering the wayLike foaming water surging round our feet.And then with cries and sound of cracking whipsAll, all are gone: the distant beat of hoofsLike trailing smoke of dreams, comes fitfullyTo tell how near they were a moment past.But we see only winter trees again,And turning homewards meet a drifting rain.Update: Well, I wrote the review at manic speed, in the space of three hours. Now I don't know what to do with it. Who publishes reviews of obscure, out-of-print poetry collections? I'll send it to you to read, however, if you'd like to see it.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Do not expect me to explain who might still be in the classroom on July 1 . . . or even who has time to hire a poet at this late date. Nonetheless, I pass it on.
Opport unityfor Poets in Residence
High schools and middle schools
The Maine Arts Commission wants to further enrich the student/poet interaction in
This is a new opportunity that allows teachers to bring a poet into the classroom before
The Maine Arts Commission is offering this opportunity on a first come - first served basis and based on availability of funds. First, decide the type of workshop you need. Second, contact the artist to determine availability, cost and scheduling arrangements. Go to www.MaineArts.com to find listed artists in the directory, or contact Paul Faria for assistance at 287-2790 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Finally, after contacting the artist, contact us to set up the details.
Please contact us if you have someone in mind that you've worked with before or that you've had a recommendation about and would like approval to work with this opportunity. This is very limited opportunity so the time to act is now. Workshops must take place before
Contact Paul Faria for more information at 287-2790 or email@example.com
O only once to loose my hold, and slipDown the familiar bank, and feel the chillOf water lapping round my feet, and hearThe sounds of distant music in the wind.
And still I see how clearly shines the lightOn winter branches, and how the dripping rainDeepens the colour on the hills, and howTo draw those horses plodding up the lane.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
There's a beautiful, beautiful field,Far away in a land that is fair.Happy landings to you, Amelia Earhart.Farewell, first lady of the air.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
I've been invited, once again, to teach a poetry workshop at the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance weekend writing retreat in September. This will be my third appearance on the MWPA retreat faculty, and the gig always gives me great pleasure. Not only is it held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, located on one the most beautiful sections of the Maine coast, but I got my own writing break as a very nervous participant in an MWPA workshop. It was the first workshop I'd ever attended, I had two small children at home, I didn't know any other writers at all, and I was scared to death. So to come back as faculty is a distinct happiness for me.
Here's the course description I submitted this morning to the director, and I'm delighted to say that I've already heard from three people who plan to attend. So if anyone out there has questions about how the workshop will function or is otherwise squeamish about the prospect, please do contact me. In the past, the number of participants has been limited to 12, and the classes have always been filled.
Just know that you can't be more squeamish than I was. Even so, that invitation into the world of poetry changed my life. I don't promise to do the same for you, but I do promise to try.
The Mechanics of Passion: A Poetry Revision Workshop
What is meant by the word Poet? What is a Poet? To whom does he address himself? And what language is to be expected of him? . . . However exalted a notion we would wish to cherish of the character of a Poet, it is obvious, that while he describes and imitates passions, his employment is in some degree mechanical, compared with the freedom and power of real and substantial action and suffering.
--William Wordsworth, preface to Lyrical Ballads
Most of us are inspired to write poems because something, be it landscape, incident, or memory, has moved us to articulate a powerful emotion. Yet as we struggle to capture that emotion in words, we quickly find ourselves enmeshed in the mechanics of language—in Wordsworth’s terms, imitating passion rather than experiencing it firsthand. Nevertheless, these mechanical elements of language—grammar, syntax, punctuation—are the tools of our trade: our artisan link to readers and listeners as well as a conduit into our own inner lives.
In this workshop, participants will focus on the structure of the English language as the foundation of revision. We'll discuss your poems in process, studying how the mechanical elements within these early drafts express or conceal your intentions; and we'll consider possible avenues for change. The workshop is open to writers at all levels, experienced or novice, and previous publication is neither necessary nor important. Participants should bring twelve copies of two poems in process, each no longer than a page. Please don't bring finished work; save that for the participants' reading on Saturday evening. Our goal here is to study the craft of revision.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
NostalgiaDawn PotterIt was darker then, in the nights when the carscame sliding around the traffic circle, when the headlightsspeckled with rain traveled the bedroom wallsand vanished; when the typewriter, the squeaking chair,the slow voice of the radio stirred the night air like a fan.Of course, the ones we loved were beautiful--slim, dark-haired, intent on their books.The rain came swishing against the lamp-lit windows.The cat purred in his chair. A clock sang,and we lay nearly asleep, almost dreaming,almost alone, nearly gone--the days fly so;and the nights, like sleep, disappear without memory.[from Boy Land & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2004)]
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
from The Present and the Past (1953)I. Compton-Burnett"Is there anything endearing in being asleep?" said Fabian. "Not that it is not better than screaming on the ground.""People are always glad when babies go to sleep," said Henry. "They can stop thinking about them. They take too much thought."
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Ode to an AlienPaul BirtwistleSometimes I sit and wonderWhat I oughta doWhen aliens arrive and say,"Howdy-doody moo."Should I say it back or maybeSomething else instead,Like "Welcome to our land"Or maybe offer them your bed?Should I maybe laughAnd say, "I think your accent's funny,"Or maybe act all seriousAnd give them jars of hunny?Sometimes I sit and wonderWhat I oughta doWhen aliens arrive and say,"Howdy-doody moo!"
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
A Description of the Morning
Now hardly here and there an hackney-coach,
Appearing, showed the ruddy morn’s approach.
Now Betty from her master’s bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own.
The slipshod prentice from his master’s door
Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirled her mop with dextrous airs,
Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel-edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney-sweep,
Duns at his lordship’s gate began to meet,
And Brickdust Moll had screamed through half the street.
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees;
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands;
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
In the midst of this rainy morningI decided to write instead,deleting a comma, adjusting a verb,and mucking around in my head.
"A note addressed to my wife, marked Please Forward."
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
from EpithalmionEdmund SpenserAh! when will this long weary day have end,And lend me leave to come unto my love?How slowly do the hours their numbers spend!How slowly does sad Time his feathers move!Haste thee, O fairest planet, to thy homeWithin the western foam;Thy tired steeds long since have need of rest.Long though it be, at last I see it gloomAnd the bright evening star with golden crestAppear out of the East.Fair child of beauty! glorious lamp of love!That all the host of heaven in ranks dost leadAnd guidest lovers through the night's sad dread,How cheerfully thou lookest from aboveAnd seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light,As joining in the sightOf these glad many, which for joy do singThat all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
TroubleDawn PotterFrom the barren hills a battery of menmarched and stumbled onto the muddy plain,but the wolves, impatient for spring, mistook themfor scrawny oxen and devoured them. Now the women,no longer the wives of heroes, hoard turnips and spoiled loaves.Mice gnaw the empty shelves, grind their yellow teethagainst the split handles of knives and hatchets.Children launch greening potatoes at the anxiouscattle; they throttle the last angry geese. Pale sheep wanderthe bleak forest like ragged deer, tearing twigs and blackenedleaves from the stunted oaks. A sallow pair of lambs huddlesby the half-thawed pool, where a single ancient fish lives outhis cloudy hours, calm, unfixed, a pitcher of silver and lead.At dusk he drifts into the net.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It is a month today
Since my lover went away.
My heart remains gloomy and silent;
It is a month today.
"Farewell," he said, "I am leaving."
Since then he speaks to me no more.
It is a month today.