Tag Archives: writing

Poetry and Drawing

The essay is “On Drawing” by poet Michael Burkard (Poetry*, July/August 2020). Mary Hackett was “a self-taught artist who spent much of the year in Provincetown [Massachusetts].” Michael Burkard writes of striking up a friendship with her while on an … Continue reading

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Prosodic Moments in Poeisis

In English, the difficulty of perceiving even brief isosyllabic lines as rhythmically equivalent is aggravated by the inordinate power of stressed syllables… The mashup of mystification about versifying that’s available online furnishes what I call Prosodic Moments — when phraseology … Continue reading

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Poetry Frisson

The poem is “That Other” by Joyce Carol Oates (Poetry*, July/August 2020). Reading this miniature is like encountering a firm pack of beach after jogging on dry sand. The poem is accessible while allusive, and wry. It crystallizes for me, … Continue reading

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The Pain of Poetry

My correspondent in life of the mind states my state of mind neatly and plainly in the matter of phosphorescent gargoyle exhalations swaddled in effulgent gossamer — I mean to say prosody. Now I remember why I, and doubtless others … Continue reading

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About the Stag

The poem is “Entire Known World So Far” by Carl Phillips (Poetry, July/August 2020). I share thoughts about my readings with a correspondent who returned the following in email: The part of the poem you copied out – where it … Continue reading

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‘A Royal Poet of a Sky’

The poem is “A Gazetteer of the Backyard (In Which Pedanius Dioscorides Takes Stock”) by Sylvia Legris (Poetry, March 2020). It’s a Pernambuco of a backyard. Over a span of dogged spells with this rhapsody of nature-naming I hit upon … Continue reading

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‘Horrific Surrealism’

Behrouz Boochani wrote his book with desperate means from imprisonment in a brutal Australian camp for migrants. A collaborator from outside who helped assemble the book terms it a work of “horrific surrealism.” Boochani’s book challenges readers to acknowledge that … Continue reading

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Blood & Rabbit Enchiladas

Spencer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter) was slashed at an NYC restaurant! Or maybe not. Dried blood remained Saturday afternoon outside The Black Ant, whose dinner entrees include $24 rabbit enchiladas and $27 braised pork cheeks… “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer downplayed his … Continue reading

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Irish and Not Proud

William James arrived penniless in Albany, NY from County Cavan, Ireland in the late 18th century. Over the next 30 years he created a fortune second only to that of the Astor family. His grandsons, novelist Henry and philosopher William, … Continue reading

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Mindreading the Meritocracy

Of the opinion writers I read regularly in the NYTimes, the one who uses the term “meritocracy” most by far, and with pronounced ambivalence, is Ross Douthat — himself a confessed meritocrat (Hamden Hall Country Day School, magna cum laude … Continue reading

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