Tuesday, December 4, 2012
I'm on the road again today--a quick trip to southern New Hampshire, where I'll be working with a group of eighth graders as well as few assorted parents and teachers in an after-school writing consortium. And then (except for my local high school project), my teaching travels are over for the season. Thanks to the Schafer family, who funded the grants that have allowed me to take the Frost Place on the road, I've had an unusually busy autumn. Still, I am looking forward to a snowy month or two at home. I seem to be on the cusp of another bout of writing, and it would be a relief to have time and space for that seizure. I continue to slowly copy out Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters, and I've finished another western Pennsylvania poem. But I also have a sense of emotional immanence, a kind of migraine aura without the physical pain, that so often presages my most productive periods. And I am beginning to reread my old childhood novels--Alcott, Dickens--those books I crave before I start my own writing. They are like a longing for mashed potatoes and hot vanilla pudding--a rich, predictable, invalid reading diet. They tell me, I hope, that I am getting ready for the work.