September 19, 2014
To Autumn


It was on this day 195 years ago that a 24-year-old kid named John Keats wrote “To Autumn.”

You can find this ode in many anthologies and even if you have little interest in poetry, you may recognize a line that was dropped into your memory in a classroom.

Keats wasn’t having a great poetic year. In November, he would tell his brother in a letter, “Nothing could have in all its circumstances…

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September 16, 2014
Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America

Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America


This day in 1672, Anne Bradstreet died.

America’s first published poet, married at 16,

off to the New World to write

about her husband, children, God – this woman

eventually discontent with her Puritan woman’s life.


Her first and only volume of poetry was The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published in England in 1650. Her poemsreceived a positive reception in both the Old World…

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August 30, 2014
Walking With Keats


John Keats by William Hilton – Public Domain

In the summer of 1818,  poet John Keats went on a six-week walking tour through northern England, Scotland, and Ireland. Keats and his friend Charles Brown set off in June and walked 600 miles before sailing back to London.

Keats was not an outdoorsman and had spent his life in London never having been out of southern England. He was 22 and had never…

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July 7, 2014
"Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone."

Czesaw Milosz

New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001 (Penguin Modern Classics)

Prolific poet, essayist, and historian Czesław Miłosz (born June 30, 1911) was also a diplomat, who served as Poland’s cultural attaché to France and the United States.

June 17, 2014
"i have woven a parachute out of everything broken."  - William Stafford

"i have woven a parachute out of everything broken."  - William Stafford

June 13, 2014
Yeats, Poet and Potential Magus

Yeats, Poets and Potential Magus

I wrote earlier here about Isaac Newton’s intense interest in the occult. He sought the Philosopher’s Stone, (It’s not just something from a Harry Potter book), studied alchemy, and believed that a Diana’s Tree was evidence that metals “possessed a sort of life.” Newton lived in a time when the distinctions between science, superstition, and pseudoscience were still being formulated.

I find it…

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May 10, 2014
After hearing the learn’d poets

After hearing the learn’d poets

read their poems about the Passaic River

and the Paterson Great Falls both nearby,

I wandered off by myself to the falls.

The mystical moist air was real, not poetic.

Visitors in perfect silence breathing the rainbow.

falls and rainbow

Inspired by the poems from The Great Falls poetry anthology,
Walt Whitman’s  “When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer
and the Paterson Great Falls in New Jersey.


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March 13, 2014
"The poet always writes out of his personal life. In his finest work, out of its tragedy, whatever it may be - remorse, lost love or loneliness."

—    T.S. Eliot

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March 6, 2014
"I would feel dead if I didn’t have the ability periodically to put my world in order with a poem. I think to be inarticulate is a great suffering, and is especially so to anyone who has a certain knack for poetry."

    Richard Wilbur

February 11, 2014
"My father would lift me
to the ceiling in his big hands
and ask, How’s the weather up there?
And it was good, the weather
of being in his hands, his breath
of scotch and cigarettes, his face
smiling from the world below.
O daddy, was the lullaby I sang
back down to him as he stood on earth„,"

from “Weather” by George Bilgere

read the rest of the poem at

George Bilgere has published six collections of poetry, most recently Imperial .

George’s poems are featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and Ted Kooser’s newspaper project “American Life in Poetry.” He has also been a guest on Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” live radio variety show.

George hosts a weekly radio show, WORDPLAY, an offbeat mix of poetry, comedy, and an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of the spoken word.

His website is

January 27, 2014
"The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun."

— from The Song of Wandering Angus by William Butler Yeats

January 17, 2014
William StaffordIt’s the birthday of William Stafford, morning poet,Writing the Australian Crawl and writing StoriesView Post

William Stafford

It’s the birthday of William Stafford, morning poet,
Writing the Australian Crawl and writing Stories

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January 14, 2014
"My work is loving the world."


"Loving the world means giving it attention, which draws one to devotion, which means one is concerned with its condition, how it is being treated."

from an interview at

December 4, 2013
"The courage it took to get out of bed each morning to face the same things over and over was enormous."

   Charles Bukowski

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense

November 28, 2013
"The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself."

Today is the birthday of someone who never celebrated Thanksgiving. Poet and artist WILLIAM BLAKE was born in London in 1757).

He started seeing visions when he was a young boy — God in the window, angels in trees.

He apprenticed to an engraver, and spent his life as a little-known printmaker and poet.

Blake set up an exhibition of his art in his brother’s shop and called it “Poetical and Historical Inventions.” He left the show up for a year, but not many people attended, and not a single piece of art was sold.

Though famous today, he died in poverty in 1827, at the age of 69. In the 30 years after publishing his Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, fewer than 20 copies had sold.

An 1863 book, Life of William Blake was published  quoted many of Blake’s poems, and included his illustrations and was hugely popular, and for the first time, Blake was considered a major English poet.

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