Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ten below zero this morning, on this last day of February, yet a spring sun is shining. The days are longer, and the tree shadows fall at new angles on the snow. Owls, the earliest nesters, are beginning to shift and fidget in the forest.

I am still rereading the Bronte biography, still slowly absorbing John Luther Adams's Winter Music, and now also feeling mournful about the death of Leonard Nimoy, now also feeling the pleasures of this sunshine and this cup of black coffee, now reminding myself to wake up my son for theater practice, to empty the recycling bin, to fill the birdfeeder, and now I am wondering what I should read next, wondering whether, when I go outside to fetch firewood, I will hear the pileated woodpecker again.

The brain is a busy collation of time. Its shifts of attention are so swift in the moment, so slow on the page.

Grammar is a cracked and struggling mimic of the mind.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Yesterday afternoon Tom and I went on a snowshoe hike across our yard into the woods and then down onto the snow-laden stream bed. Breaking trail is hard work, but our eventual goal is to get to the bog at the end of the stream, a mile or so down the waterway. For the past several days we've been chipping away at the trail, on each outing stomping down a few more meters of untouched snow.

The stream bed is gloriously beautiful--overhung with cedars, punctuated by rifts of still-running water. The sound of the water bubbles up into the silence, into the trudge and squeak of our snowshoes, into the sudden squawk of a woodpecker. Animal tracks--squirrel, rabbit, deer--circle the open drinking holes, and now our tracks wind among them as well.

Compared to skiing, snowshoeing is an unglamorous activity. Instead of gliding elegantly, we stump along like dwarves heading home from the mine. In order to avoid stepping on our own shoes, stopping short, and immediately pitching headfirst into a drift (which for numerous reasons involving terrain and dogs does happen pretty often anyway), we have to walk like bow-legged cowboys. This awkward trudge turns out to be surprisingly healthful for my hip joints, which have a tendency to seize up after too much sitting and driving and standing around at my writing desk.

I have written only one poem about snowshoeing--"Dog in Winter," the sonnet that was reprinted in the Portland Press-Herald last weekend. As I was trudging along yesterday, I was wondering if the stolid heavy rhythm of the activity--chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk--makes it difficult for me to relax into any sense of poetic line, for certainly the visual patterns (cedars, snowdrifts, ice etchings, current flow) and the sounds/silences beyond myself are immensely evocative.

I don't think of myself as a nature poet, yet this place I live in--the clumsy trudge of my snowshoes, the trickle of thawed ice, the scream of the woodpecker, the quiet--this is my keystone. I hear it, I see it, I don't always understand how to absorb it into myself, into my work, into the decisions I must make about how to grow old.

In Winter Music, composer John Luther Adams writes,
Maybe art is the house we're always building for ourselves, somewhere between the stark truths of the world as it is and our longing for the world as we dream it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lately I've been rereading a biography of Emily Bronte. They were difficult people, those Brontes--deeply unlikable in so many ways, and often indifferent even to the idea of being liked.

Is this a terrible way to live a life? Or a could it be a relief?

A few days ago, a twenty-something FaceBook poet-acquaintance posted this status: "WUTHERING HEIGHTS why does it even exist ugh???"

I wonder which she thinks would be worse: writing Wuthering Heights or reading it?

I first read it as a middle schooler. I have since read it dozens of times, but I have no memory of how I felt when I first read this passage about the final meeting between Heathcliff and the dying Catherine:
She retained in her closed fingers a portion of [Heathcliff’s] locks she had been grasping. As to her companion, while raising himself with one hand, he had taken her arm with the other; and so inadequate was his stock of gentleness to the requirements of her condition, that on letting go I saw four distinct impressions left blue in the colourless skin.
Is this love? Or a terrible way to die?

There is no answer to any of these questions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The current issue of the New Yorker includes an article by Mary Norris, a long-time copyeditor for the magazine. Although she doesn't answer most of my questions about the publication's curious style choices (why nineteen-seventies instead of 1970s? why focussed instead of focused?), she does write beautifully, and often comically, about the way in which the job "draws on the entire person: not just your knowledge of grammar and punctuation and usage and foreign languages and literature but also your experience of travel, gardening, shipping, singing, plumbing, Catholicism, Midwesternism, mozzarella, the A train, New Jersey. And in turn it feeds you more experience."

This is true. In the course of my job I have absorbed a great deal of fascinating information about uranium mining, foie gras, asbestos, Audre Lorde in Germany, in vitro fertilization, physics in the nineteenth century, and hair-removal practices during the Middle Ages. I have also drawn on my own expertise in goat farming, Victorian pulp fiction, pie baking, youth-sports anxiety, pit-orchestra performance, being a Quaker, and driving in snow.

A copyeditor wallows in details of style, information, spelling. Yet as Norris points out, "so much of [the job] is about not going beyond your province. . . . Writers might think we're applying rules and sticking it to their prose in order to make it fit some standard, but just as often we're backing off, making exceptions, or at least trying to find a balance between doing too much and doing too little." Copyediting "is interpretive, not mechanical--though the answer often boils down to an implicit understanding of commas."

That remark about the commas is also true. While my own comma predilections are less rigid than the New Yorker's, I do feel that, as a copyeditor, I expend considerable thought on the implications of comma placement. As a poet, I also concentrate on this issue . . . although my poet answers are not identical to my copyeditor answers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The temperature is twenty degrees below zero this morning, but the sun is bravely shining. The snow on my garden is striped with tree shadows. The windowpanes of my bedroom are patched with ice flowers. Fire clicks in the woodstove, and bread dough rises in a red bowl.

My desk is stacked with editing projects: poetry collections, fiction, academic histories. Some require simple line corrections; some require mentorship. It is interesting to switch among these responsibilities, interesting also to think about how these tasks transfer to the teaching I do at the Frost Place and elsewhere. What I am thinking about now is how important it is to structure conversation around the layers of creation and revision. Schools call this task "the writing process," but that is too linear a phrase. Writers don't just begin with nothing and travel toward a final something. They create a something, that becomes a something else, that becomes a something else. As they add layers of language, meaning, structure, they also carve away at those layers. In actuality, an editor often has to do that work herself, especially when an author is not primarily a writer but a specialist who is struggling to transmit information through writing. But ideally, the task of a teacher-editor-mentor is to guide writers into a deepening awareness of what is there and not there, to perceive the existing relationships within and between layers, to learn to make productive decisions about those relationships.

Last week my father-in-law was talking about the problem of what he called "gate keeping" in academia, by which he meant the urge among some schools to force students to prove their aptitude in a trial-by-fire, cross-the-Rubicon kind of way: i.e., "you can't major in such-and-such field of study unless you successfully write a ten-page paper in twelve hours about a subject we've just assigned you." (I actually heard this requirement at a recent college information session.) He is an emeritus professor at a renowned small college, where he was responsible for transforming his department into a creatively driven rather than primarily academic program. In his view, the best teachers look at where a particular student is now, talk with that student about what she hopes to do, and support her to grow in individual, idiosyncratic ways.  One student's success is not the same as another student's success. Each thrives on different food, different stimulations, different expectations--and I try to remember this truth whenever I open a new manuscript.

Monday, February 23, 2015

My sonnet "Dog in Winter" was featured in yesterday's Take Heart poetry column in the Portland Press Herald. The column is curated by state poet laureate Wes McNair, who will be printing several other Same Old Story poems over the course of this year. But I had completely forgotten that yesterday was publication day so was taken aback (in a nice way) when I started getting notes and emails about the piece. In the meantime, Tom spent yesterday afternoon in Portland, giving a gallery talk about his current photo show; Paul spent the day reading The Scarlet Letter; and James spent the day on the jury of the Five College Film Festival. Welcome to the Modern Arty Family paper doll set.

Today we return to our regularly scheduled programming. The Half-Assed Arctic Homesteaders paper dolls will be featured in various contemporary scenes: climbing onto the roof to figure out why snowmelt is dripping through an upstairs window frame, wading through five-foot drifts to empty the compost pail, splitting kindling with a dull hatchet, etcetera. They are cleverly clad in a series of ugly wet work coats and have interchangeable red noses and hat hair.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Well, I broke my driving record this week: six states and more than a thousand miles of snowy, blowy switchbacks, interstate bridges, suburban strips, one-way city streets, roaring turnpikes, and minor state highways that were all named Route 9. I feel proud. I went to places I'd never been before, I did all the driving by myself, and I did not succumb to panic. I was fortunate to have a navigator who understood how to make the Google Maps app work on my phone, had a knack for tracking down bearable radio stations, and was good at making jokes about squirrels.

Now I am home, and there's another foot of snow on the ground and one of my bedroom windows seems to be leaking. But I refuse to be daunted. No matter what, I intend to be glad to be here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Greetings from scenic Poughkeepsie, New York, home of the mighty Hudson, confusing one-way streets, and a giant chrome diner where I will shortly be eating breakfast.

Over the course of this week I have done much standing around in cold and windy college quadrangles listening to the spiels of perky but blue-lipped young admissions employees. Though all of the campuses were frigid, I'd like to announce some special awards. Winner of "Slushiest Sidewalks" is Amherst College. Winner of "Longest Walk Uphill" is Bennington College. Winner of "Most Difficult Admissions Office to Find" is Bard College. Winner of "Tour Most Likely to Lead to Frostbite" is Vassar College.

Now we're off to Wesleyan. I wonder if it will be chilly there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Paul attended his first college class today. Afterward, he said to me, "That was the best class I was ever in." He told me how hard the students were thinking, how easily they shared their ideas, how the teacher let the students guide the discussion, how much he learned, how much he could tell they were learning.

I told him that this is what people hunger for: this kind of intellectual engagement that is so intense that it becomes an emotional bond.

"Yes," he said.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The two feet of snow turned out to be two inches of snow plus a big wind; and since today would have been shoveling day, this is okay with me. We have plenty of snow without more snow.

It's still 10 below zero, and the big wind makes Harmony feel like the tundra. I am glad that there are no animals in my barn. I would have been out there in the middle of the night, hauling hot water and banking them up in hay. Every groan of the wind would have filled me with anxiety and foreboding, and my eyeballs would have started to freeze. (Ever had that sensation? It's very, very strange, as if your eyes are turning into cherry cordials.) As it is, I still can't help but worry about the deer and the moose--too large to burrow down into the snow, giant windbreaks in the bitter gale, no food to eat.

Tomorrow morning Paul and I embark on our college-tour odyssey, while Tom stays home and builds kitchen cabinets and keeps the stoves and the house pets fired up. I'm sure you will hear from me, but only sporadically and at odd times of the day. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The house was packed for last night's gig, which was not what I expected during a blizzard warning. People must be pretty desperate to get out of the house. So far, however, this blizzard is doing next to nothing: merely a light breeze and a few snow showers. I suppose it will get lively eventually.

It was nice to get out of the house. We left the boy at home, with instructions to man the woodstove and babysit the housepets in case we ended up in a snowbank for the night. But Tina the Little Subaru chugged obstinately up and down the hills, and here we are: waiting for the blizzard, which might as well arrive now that we have nowhere else to go.

It better not arrive this coming week, when I have to drive all over Massachusetts and Vermont and upstate New York and Connecticut on the boy's February vacation college tour. Blah.

"Katy was a beautiful red crawler tractor. She was very big and very strong and she could do a lot of things."

[My all-time favorite feminist opening line, from Virginia Lee Burton's 1943 picture book. And so appropriate to the season.]

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The forecast calls for up to 24 inches of wind-driven snow, starting later tonight and continuing all day tomorrow and into tomorrow night. But as far as I know, my gig is still on at Stutzmans' Cafe this evening. We should be done early enough to beat the weather.

At the moment the sky is even sort of sunny, though the temperature is 15 degrees below zero. And there is a vase of yellow tulips on my kitchen table.

Friday, February 13, 2015

"One of the great powers of music is that it can mean nothing and anything, sometimes at once" (John Luther Adams).


from the Scottish ballad Poor Mary Lee

Oh! once I lived happily by yon bonny burn--
The world was in love with me;
But now I must sit neath the cold drift and mourn,
And curse black Robin-a-Ree.

Then whudder away thou bitter biting blast
And sough through the scrunty tree,
And smoor me up in the snow full fast,
And ne'er let the sun me see!

Oh, ne'er melt away, thou wreath of snow,
That's so kind in graving me;
But hide me from the scorn and guffaw
Of villains like Robin-a-Ree.

Charlotte Bronte quotes these verses in her novel Shirley, though she uses Scots dialect spellings, which I've dropped here because I find them annoying. According to the notes, "this ballad appears under the title 'Robin-a-Ree' in John Mactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia (1824)," but Bronte's rendition is "from a shortened and 'smoother' [1843] version."

Interestingly, the ballad is not easy to find in a quick Google search; only the Bronte passage appears, and I'm curious about the accuracy of her transcription. For instance, the first line of the second stanza contains two extra syllables: this makes for awkward poetry, but it could be perfectly suited for the melodic variations of a tune. I wonder what it would sound like sung. Even on the page, the strange verbal forms are lovely and precise evocations of weather: whudder, sough, smoor. I think they would be eloquent in the air.

Also, I know exactly what a scrunty tree looks like. Given Maine's weather forecast (yet another blizzard on Sunday), you may need to hunt for me "neath the cold drift" beside the scrunty tree. I'll be smoored up there.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Upcoming stuff

* On Saturday, February 14, Stutzmans' Cafe in Sangerville, Maine, will be open for a special Valentine's Day dinner, featuring music by my band, the Doughty Hill Trio. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost is $12 a person--a nice cheap date on this obligatory day of dates. Even my own date says that he plans to attend, and this is the man who forgets Valentine's Day every year.

* On Wednesday, March 4, I'll be reading at the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Hoot (why is it called this? I do not know), at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The reading starts at 7 p.m., with two featured poets (I'm one of them; Hope Jordan is the other), and is followed by an open mic. (I don't know about you, but I always want to spell this as "open mike" because to me "open mic" looks like it should be pronounced as "open mick" which sounds like a rude thing to say to an Irish person.)

* On Friday, March 13, I will be a judge at the state finals of New Jersey's Poetry Out Loud competition, held at Princeton University. I have judged many Maine iterations of this contest, and it will be interesting to see how the NJ version varies. Last year's winner was a finalist at the nationals, so I'm looking forward to an outstanding program. Afterward I'll be spending a night or two in NYC, wishing I could go see "Hamilton" at the Public, but there are no tickets available and who can afford those prices anyway?

* And on Saturday, March 21, the Doughty Hill Trio will be playing at Pat's Pizza in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, 7-10 p.m. This is a place where you can drink beer and watch TV and talk loudly to your friends and listen to music, all at the same time, even if you're in the band.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The sound of the Renaissance may suddenly ring out in the midst of medieval life.

           --Johann Huizinga


There are a lot of ways of being in the zone creatively, and not all of them have to do with making new work. Lately I can't seem to read anything without (figuratively) throwing up my arms and shouting, "Oh, my God, this is exactly it!" First, I bumped into the wonderful Virgil quotations, then the John Luther Adams ones, and now this Huizinga remark. All of them--every single one--has seemed pertinent to my current struggles with the manuscript of Vocation. For instance:
Too often I think of music only in terms of metaphor or image, forgetting the fundamental role of the body.
            —John Luther Adams
Of course. Yes. This matters so much to what I am trying to construct in this manuscript. In a letter yesterday, I told a friend, "I want the book to be a landscape of vocation—not in the sense of a topographical map but more in the sense of weather, or a Turner painting. Unity and fluidity. Is that even possible? Or readable?"

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In her introduction to the Oxford edition of Charlotte Bronte's 1849 novel Shirley, scholar Janet Gezari quotes from a pair of documents. The first is from a letter Bronte wrote to W. S. Williams, her editor at Smith, Elder, who had asked her what she was planning for her next novel. Speaking of Shirley, which was germinating in her mind, she told him that she hoped to
say something about the "condition of women" question, but it is one respecting which so much "cant" has been talked, that one feels a sort of repugnance to approach it. It is true enough that the present market for female labour is quite overstocked--but where or how could another be opened? Many say that the professions now filled only by men should be open to women also--but are not their present occupants and candidates more than numerous enough to answer every demand? Is there any more room for female lawyers, female doctors, female engravers, for more female artists, more authoresses? One can see where the evil lies--but who can point out the remedy? When a woman has a little family to rear and educate and a household to conduct, her hands are full, her vocation is evident--when her destiny isolates her--I suppose she must do what she can--live as she can--complain as little--bear as much--work as well as possible.
Yet in the end Shirley conducts its two female heroines down the same old path that the author puzzles over in this note. In fact, the eroticism of their courtships (and Bronte was famously good at erotic sparring between men and women) arises from the way in which they relinquish themselves to their husbands' control. Her lifelong friend Mary Taylor, a woman's rights activist, was horrified, and wasn't afraid to say so. In a letter to Bronte she wrote:
I have seen some extracts from "Shirley" in which you talk of women working. And this first duty, this great necessity you seem to think that some women may indulge in--if they give up marriage and don't make themselves too disagreeable to the other sex. You are a coward and a traitor.
Reading these two documents made me sad. It's interesting, disturbing also, that Bronte's letter to Williams is poignant in a way that her acid narrative commentary frequently is not. The letter complicates her, and it also complicates the story of men and women. But Taylor is right: Shirley does nothing to solve the "condition of women" question.

In some ways, these letters exemplify the disconnect between artists and activists. The one sees so much that she cannot see an answer. The other sweeps away the complications for the sake of making change.

But how would you feel if one of your closest friends called you "a coward and a traitor"?

Monday, February 9, 2015

In her comment on yesterday's post, Carlene said, "I think I want to ponder what it means to have a keynote in writing. It may well be the one thing that focuses a piece and helps it transcend ordinariness."

Carlene is a teacher, and I suspect that she is thinking of keynote as a way to extend a discussion of setting. I agree: By asking readers to ponder the keynote of Dickens's Little Dorrit or Proust's Swann's Way or Joyce's Ulyssses or Virgil's Aeneid or Eliot's Middlemarch or Morrison's Beloved, a teacher will push them far beyond a simple "where does this novel take place?" understanding of setting. Not only does the idea of keynote press them to consider the persistent underlying sound of place but it allows them to absorb the idea of fluidity in that place--the movement, human or otherwise--visually, sonically, spiritually--that is the canvas of setting in a work of art.

But keynote also seems to me to be a very useful consideration in the creation of work. Setting is, after all, both a unity and a fluctuation. It is also immensely physical. As John Luther Adams writes in Winter Music, "The earth speaks to us--the names we give to places, plants and animals, to the weather, the seasons, the directions, and the elements." For a poet, such translation, such attention, requires us to choose these names--these nouns--both prudently and wildly . . . and I don't think of prudently and wildly as opposites but as another aspect of both/and. Accuracy can be wild risk. Of course it can.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

from Winter Music by John Luther Adams

In his remarkable book The Tuning of the World, the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer uses the term "keynote" to mean the sonic ground of a particular place and time, the sound against which all other sounds are perceived. We rarely listen to these keynotes. Often they're most conspicuous in their absence. On the coast the keynote is the roar of surf. On city streets and highways it's the roar of the automobile. And the keynote of most modern homes and buildings is the 60-cycle electrical hum.

The keynote of the northern interior is silence. The rivers are frozen much of the year. Snow mutes the land. And the wind is calm more often than not. With human and animal life spread sparsely over sprawling distances, sound is the exception. This pervasive stillness can attune the ear in extraordinary ways. As Schafer observes, "In the special darkness of the northern winter . . . the ear is super-sensitized and the air stands poised to beat with the subtle vibrations of a strange tale or ethereal music."

Friday, February 6, 2015

In Praise of Young People

When the temperature is 17 below zero, everyone needs a laugh. Here is a classroom vignette, shared by my friend Jean, who teaches high school in Ohio:
Today while discussing [Robert Frost's] "The Road Not Taken," this happened: 
Student 1 (frustrated): Mrs. K, I don't get why this guy's poetry is considered good. It looks like stuff anyone could write. I could write this. 
Student 2: Dude. It's ART. You can't create this because you don't even understand it yet.
Jean's internal comment: Hahaha. They don't need me.
And while I'm on the subject of young people: As I was driving around yesterday--and for a change, I wasn't driving around with a young person--I was listening to an NPR segment about how the millennial generation (defined in this case as 18- to 32-year-olds) views itself and believes that older generations view it. Repeatedly, the interviewees mentioned that older people see them as detached and selfish--wrapped up in selfies and texting and video games and uninterested in the larger elements of humanity.

This may be true for some young people. It is also true of some older people. Do you think that it's possible that selfish young people have learned selfishness from selfish older people? I hate to imagine that my children's generation sees mine as a collection of sour-mouthed disapprovers. I'm proud of my children, which is to say: amazed, impressed, overwhelmed, entertained, touched. They teach me so many things I never knew. And they know so much more about the world than I did at their age--for instance, they are closely attentive to global politics while I barely comprehended Watergate as anything more than a word. They are idealistic, inventive, ambitious, and kind. Also, they are very, very funny. So what if they don't love every single thing that I love. Why should they? I don't love every single thing that my parents love. That's the story of time.

Let's hear it for these excellent human beings: these young people who are our children, our students, our neighbors, our friends. The world could be in much worse hands--and it usually has been.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Snow falls, and it falls, it falls, and snow falls, snow is falling, and snow.

Yet the moon sinks, the sun glows, the hours tick past.
Days lengthen. A page turns.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Introducing Gibson Fay-LeBlanc: 2015 Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching Faculty

This morning I saw a robin. Granted, the temperature was 12 below zero and the robin was horrified, but she did remind me that summer will return (though I have my doubts that she'll be around to see it). Thus, I've decided that it's time for me to start introducing you to the faculty of the 2015 Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching.

In addition to our three returning faculty members (Teresa Carson, Baron Wormser, and me), we will be featuring two guest poets, each of whom will teach for a full day and then hold a public poetry reading in the evening.

Our Monday guest is Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, whose first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published in 2012. Born and raised in Chicago, he has taught writing and literature in public and private middle schools, high schools, and colleges in California, Vermont, New York, and Maine. In 2011 the Portland Press Herald named him one of Maine’s “emerging leaders” in recognition of his work at the Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center in Portland focusing on young writers ages 6 through 18. Gibson is the former executive director of the Telling Room and he still regularly teaches writing there. He also has a homemade hockey rink in his backyard.

For samples of Gibson's work, visit his website, which also includes details about his teaching history. If you want to know more about the hockey rink, you'll have to ask him when you see him.

Remember, the Conference on Poetry and Teaching is not limited to K-12 teachers. Past participants have included social workers, poetry-workshop leaders, administrators, civil servants, undergraduates, MFA students, and university professors. We are open to anyone who is eager to make poetry a more intense part of everyday life.

If you have questions about the program (pedagogy, grad credits, scholarships, food, wildlife, accessibility, etc.) or would like to speak with a former participant about his or her experiences, please contact me. I would love to talk with you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Yesterday, as I was copying out some passages from the Aeneid, I came across this line, spoken by Aeneas's father, Anchises, in the underworld:
Each of us must suffer his own demanding ghost.
This is the line that still clings today, the line I cannot helping breathing in like smoke. But now, as I riffle the pages, passing through clash and battle, I find more lines that reach out and catch at me, quietly, like the casual claws of a cat as I walk past his chair. (And why am I writing in similes?)

These are the words of Dido, queen of Carthage and Aeneas' spurned lover:
Why labor to rig your fleet when the winter's raw,
to risk the deep when the Northwind's closing in?
This poem has set out to haunt me . . . or hunt me down.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Oy. Already today has been one of those classic Mondays, the kind so often featured on television sitcoms and the like. The battery in my alarm clock chose to die overnight, so we overslept by an hour and a half, so I had to pitchfork Paul into the shower at competition speed, throw breakfast at him, and race him to the car (which had been sitting outside all night in a comfortable temperature of 10 below zero), and then drive 35 miles to Dover-Foxcroft at top-possible speed (not very top, considering the state of the roads), all so that he could get to school on time . . . even though there's a 95-percent chance that he will be sent home early because, yes, we're getting another foot of snow today.

Last week Paul's school was in session for a total of one and a half days. What will this week bring?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I don't know if you read yesterday's Aeneid extract, but I cannot think of anything to write today that can possibly meet it.

I did send it to my friend Baron. His response was "I have tried to get to that place."