I go by a field where once I cultivated a few poor crops. It is now covered with young trees, for the forest that belongs here has come back and reclaimed its own. And I think of all the effort I have wasted and all the time, and of how much joy I took in that failed work and how much it taught me. For in so failing I learned something of my place, something of myself, and now I welcome back the trees.
She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1993, the second African American to be appointed, and received a second special appointment in 1999. Dove was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 - 2006.
Her collection Thomas and Beulah (1986) was based loosely on her grandparents; it was awarded the Pulitzer for poetry, and she became the second African-American poet to win the prize. In addition to poetry, she’s written a collection of short stories (Fifth Sunday, 1985), a novel (Through the Ivory Gate, 1992), and a verse drama, The Darker Face of the Earth.
I made it home early, only to get stalled in the driveway-swaying at the wheel like a blind pianist caught in a tune meant for more than two hands playing. The words were easy, crooned by a young girl dying to feel alive, to discover a pain majestic enough to live by. I turned the air conditioning off, leaned back to float on a film of sweat, and listened to her sentiment: Baby, where did our love go?-a lament I greedily took in without a clue who my lover might be, or where to start looking.
Epictetus (55 A.D.-135 A.D.) was born a slave and became one of the great philosophers of Rome. He was expelled from the city in 94 A.D. and it was while in exile that he came up with a way of teaching his followers.
Here is an extract from his Art of Living:
‘Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become friends or we try to convince that person to accept our beliefs. The same thing happens when a hot coal meets another piece of coal: it either shares its fire with it or is overwhelmed by the other’s size and is extinguished.
But, since, generally speaking, we feel insecure when we first meet someone, we are more likely to affect indifference, arrogance or excessive humility. The result is that we cease being who we are, and matters move into a strange world that does not belong to us. In order to avoid this happening, make your good feelings immediately apparent. Arrogance may only be a banal mask for cowardice, but it prevents important things from flourishing in your life.’
Adrift in the liberating, late light of August, delicate, frivolous, they make their way to my front porch and flutter near the glassed-in bulb, translucent as a thought suddenly wondered aloud, illumining the air that’s thick with honeysuckle and dusk. You and I are doing our best at conversation, keeping it light, steering clear of what we’d like to say. You leave, and the night becomes cluttered with moths, some tattered, their dumbly curious filaments startling against my cheek. How quickly, instinctively, I brush them away. Dazed, they cling to the outer darkness like pale reminders of ourselves. Others seem to want so desperately to get inside. Months later, I’ll find the woolens, snug in their resting places, full of missing pieces.
“High school students would burn out if forced to spend their entire day amidst the social intensity of the cafeteria and the hallway. Fortunately, the school authorities also schedule dormant periods called classes during which students can rest their minds and take a break from the pressures of social categorization.”—David Brooks - The Social Animal
It had been over a century since an earthquake last rattled the East Coast, so it’s no surprise that the millions of people who felt the shaking yesterday were caught off guard — but it turns out, as a species, humans may have been the only ones.
According to staffers from the National Zoo in Washington D.C., in the minutes leading up to the seismic rumblings dozens of animals began acting strangely, clearly agitated, as if they could sense the quake before it struck.
Up to around 15 minutes before the 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattle across the nation’s capital and much of New England, a variety of animals began exhibiting unusual behavior which seemed to indicate some foreknowledge of the tremor — typically considered one of the least predictable, and therefor often deadliest, form of natural disaster…