October 17th 2010
Every October it becomes important, no, necessary to see the leaves turning, to be surrounded by leaves turning; it's not just the symbolism, to confront in the death of the year your death, one blazing farewell appearance, though the irony isn't lost on you that nature is most seductive when it's about to die, flaunting the dazzle of its incipient exit, an ending that at least so far the effects of human progress (pollution, acid rain) have not yet frightened you enough to make you believe is... Read Post
June 22nd 2010
Teddy Bear A bear, however hard he tries, Grows tubby without exercise. Our Teddy Bear is short and fat Which is not to be wondered at; He gets what exercise he can By falling off the ottoman, But generally seems to lack The energy to clamber back. Now tubbiness is just the thing Which gets a fellow wondering; And Teddy worried lots about The fact that he was rather stout. He thought: "If only I were thin! But how does anyone begin?" He thought: "It really isn't fair To grudge me exercise... Read Post
April 30th 2010
It is also, at long last, the end of National Poetry Month.
So without further ado, the poem that began the debate
that rages to this day: which is better, poem or tree?

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has... Read Post
April 28th 2010
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vest the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry... Read Post
April 26th 2010
Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell. - William Shakespeare
April 25th 2010
In Memory of Jane Fraser by Geoffrey Hill When snow like sheep lay in the fold And wind went begging at each door, And the far hills were blue with cold, And a cloud shroud lay on the moor, She kept the siege. And every day We watched her brooding over death Like a strong bird above its prey. The room filled with the kettle's breath. Damp curtains glued against the pane Sealed time away. Her body froze As if to freeze us all, and chain Creation to a stunned repose. She died before the... Read Post
April 24th 2010
The Passionate Freudian to His Love Only name the day, and we'll fly away In the face of old traditions, To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot, Where we'll park our inhibitions. Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies As it psychoanalyzes, And when once you glean what your fantasies mean Life will hold no more surprises. When you've told your love what you're thinking of Things will be much more informal; Through a sunlit land we'll go hand-in-hand, Drifting gently back to normal.... Read Post
April 22nd 2010
Coda There's little in taking or giving, There's little in water or wine; This living, this living, this living Was never a project of mine. Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is The gain of the one at the top, For art is a form of catharsis, And love is a permanent flop, And work is the province of cattle, And rest's for a clam in a shell, So I'm thinking of throwing the battle - Would you kindly direct me to hell? Ultimatum I'm wearied of wearying love, my friend, Of worry and strain and... Read Post
April 21st 2010
The Love-Hat Relationship by Aaron Belz I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship. It is the relationship based on love of one another's hats. The problem with the love-hat relationship is that it is superficial. You don't necessarily even know the other person. Also it is too dependent on whether the other person is even wearing the favored hat. We all enjoy hats, but they're not something to build an entire relationship on. My advice to young people is to like hats but not love... Read Post
April 20th 2010
Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too by James W. Hall All my pwoblems who knows, maybe evwybody's pwoblems is due to da fact, due to da awful twuth dat I am SPIDERMAN. I know.  I know.  All da dumb jokes: No flies on you, ha ha, and da ones about what do I do wit all doze extwa legs in bed.  Well, dat's funny yeah. But you twy being SPIDERMAN for a month or two.  Go ahead. You get doze cwazy calls fwom da Gubbener askin you to twap some booglar who's only twying to wip off color T.V. sets. Now, what... Read Post
April 19th 2010
Inheritance Retired, my grandfather chewed his frijoles like a camel, His large jaw churning, His tortilla a napkin at the edge of his plate. He ate alone, or nearly alone, A parakeet the size of a swollen thumb Glancing in a mirror. When the parakeet rang its bell, Grandfather moved his camel head and scolded, "Shaddup." The bird was not his, But grandmother's, hall shuffler in pink slippers, Whipper of rugs and work clothes, Beautician dying her hair black on shadow-cold mornings. Nights,... Read Post
April 17th 2010
The Beach of Acre The camel train moves slowly in the dawn Across the ivory crescent of the beach; Dark shapes against a sky of pearl and fawn, Where darker silhouettes of palm trees reach. They bring gold oranges and silk and myrrh; Candles they bring, and incense for a shrine; Tributes for every humble worshiper Of three religions of an ancient line. Here is the past made visible anew, -- Shapes of antiquity, and high above This shore of ancient hope; through heaven's blue, Flash suddenly... Read Post
April 16th 2010
Elegy for Jane (My student, thrown by a horse) by Theodore Roethke I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils; And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile; And how, once startled into talk, the light syllables leaped for her, And she balanced in the delight of her thought, A wren, happy, tail into the wind, Her song trembling the twigs and small branches. The shade sang with her; The leaves, their whispers turned to kissing, And the mould sang in the bleached valleys under the rose... Read Post
April 14th 2010
...and we're in New England: A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, gives us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. And make us happing in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that... Read Post
April 13th 2010
Vespers by Louise Glück In your extended absence, you permit me use of earth, anticipating some return on investment. I must report failure in my assignment, principally regarding the tomato plants. I think I should not be encouraged to grow tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold the heavy rains, the cold nights that come so often here, while other regions get twelve weeks of summer. All this belongs to you: on the other hand, I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots like wings... Read Post