October 19, 2014
Becoming A Poet

When you don’t seek the poems and

they find you, even if you’re asleep.

They slip into your dreams. First draft:

90% autobiographical and 10% art, but then

revised, that reverses. Poem and poet emerge.

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Filed under: Poetry writing 
October 11, 2014
"The poet cannot invent new words every time, of course. He uses the words of the tribe. But the handling of the word, the accent, a new articulation, renew them."

— Eugene Ionesco

(Source: writingquotes)

October 8, 2014
A Palace of Poetry

A Palace of Poetry

Stanza: in Italian, a room, each complete,

constructed and furnished in the master’s style.

That simple, spare haiku room by itself,

elegant as any sprawling many-roomed antique mansion.

This room, in a palace of 365.

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Filed under: haiku Poetry rooms stanza writing 
October 4, 2014
My Life as a Bone Clock

My Life as a Bone Clock

This is not a review of the novel by David Mitchell titled The Bone Clocks. I can’t truly review that novel because I didn’t finish reading it. I probably will never finish reading it. That in itself may be more a review of me as a reader these days than a review of the novel, which has gotten some strong recommendations.

It is a difficult book. It’s not that the content is difficult to grasp, in…

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October 3, 2014
Walking to the Office With Wallace Stevens

Walking to the Office With Wallace Stevens

Walking two miles today, I imagined

walking to Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company

with Wallace Stevens, not talking surety claims.

He says, “After one has abandoned belief in god,

poetry takes its place as life’s redemption.”

The quote in my poem appears in a slightly different form
in Steven’s book Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose.

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October 1, 2014
"Fall" by Edward Hirsch

Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
With the final remaining cardinals) and then
Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last
Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground.
At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees
In a season of odd, dusky congruences —

from Wild Gratitude by Edward Hirsch

October 1, 2014
The Dome of Pleasure

The Dome of Pleasure


The shadow of the dome of pleasure

is lighter today, floating midway on waves -

or are they particles?  Seek the fountain;

avoid the cave, but follow its sacred river,

to fertile gardens sprung from penciled rills.


Today’s poem alludes to Coleridge’s poem, “Kubla Khan,”
although my thoughts are directed towards writing.


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September 30, 2014
September 30 is Rumi’s Birthday

The great Sufi poet and mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi, was born on September 30, 1207.

Rumi is the most widely read poet in the world.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
    -  Rumi

September 27, 2014

"To my favourite 17 year old High-school girl" - Billy Collins

What had you accomplished by 17?”

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Filed under: billy+collins Poetry poem 
September 22, 2014
"I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees."

 Pablo Neruda

Never out of season

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 17, 2014
Black Horizons

Black Horizons by Carl Sandburg

Black horizons, come up.
Black horizons, kiss me.
That is all; so many lies; killing so cheap;
babies so cheap; blood, people so cheap; and
land high, land dear; a speck of the earth
costs; a suck at the tit of Mother Dirt so
clean and strong, it costs; fences, papers,
sheriffs; fences, laws, guns; and so many
stars and so few hours to dream; such a big
song and so little a footing to stand and
sing; take a look; wars to come; red rivers
to cross.
Black horizons, come up.
Black horizons, kiss me.

This poem is in the public domain.

September 12, 2014
The Fall of the Onomatopoeian Empire

The Fall of the Onomatopoeian Empire

September 12, 2014
Cloud Poem

The day came and went without poetry.

The pencil wrote “365 reasons to live”

on paper, but they never made it

to the computer. They weren’t uploaded

to a cloud of poems drifting by.

Cloud computing

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September 9, 2014
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."

—     Carl Sandburg

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