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The Wife of Pontius Pilate April 17, 2011: I know we are supposed to be in conversation here — but sometimes it is hard to resist the pull of the tangential, the whispered aside, the minor character, the unsettling dream that seems to come out of nowhere and color the whole day. Easter is huge in Greece — much more important than Christmas — and everyone here is gearing up for [...] by

We’d Rather Have the Iceberg than the Ship April 10, 2011: Rachel Zucker’s timely post on the timeless immediately brought a certain poem to mind. Then when I saw Kathleen Rooney’s post about the Titanic (sinking like an Oreo in milk!), I thought she had beat me to the punch. The Titanic looms large (as it were) in our household, on account of our having a six-year old boy who can’t get enough of [...] by

Lucy Pevensie and the Magic Facebook April 4, 2011: When I was a kid, I used to reread C. S. Lewis' Narnia books over and over, especially when I was down in the dumps or feeling blue, in much the same way I escape to Jane Austen now. I have been thinking lately about a scene that lodged itself in my brain long ago from The Voyage of the Dawntreader (maybe my favorite). In it, I remember Lucy is [...] by

Pleasures of the Didactic April 1, 2011: I am a little obsessed with genre, which is to say with expectations and how they are subverted or fulfilled.   Contemporary American poetry is so dominated by Lyric that we often forget there are other modes:  Narrative (nephew of venerable Epic), Pastoral (largely these days the province of country music), Epinician (the trumpeting of [...] by

Finish/Line April 30, 2010: If Pindar sang horse races, what should hinder Myself from being as pliable as Pindar? As we near the finish-line here for National Poetry Month and our guest stint on Harriet, I find myself looking forward to Derby Day.  My father’s family is from Kentucky (Cotton Noe, Kentucky’s first Poet Laureate, was a relation; Booker Noe of [...] by

You don’t need time to write. You need space. April 27, 2010: As a mother of two, one a baby seven months old, it has suddenly occurred to me that despite my frequent protests to the contrary, I don’t really need “time" to write.  Somehow the writing gets done while you are doing something else—walking to the grocery store (or taking, as Ange describes here, a long short-cut), or riding the tram, or [...] by

Knitting for Poets: Elizabeth Zimmermann April 25, 2010: The only thing that approaches the satisfaction of finishing a poem is completing a sweater. OK, admittedly I stick to sonnet-length baby sweaters.  But still. Composing a poem and creating a fabric—whether weaving or knitting--actually have a surprising amount in common, not least a lot of terms—take the word “text” itself for [...] by

Afro-formalism April 21, 2010: Rigoberto’s shout-out to Allison Joseph brought to mind the best panel I attended at AWP, titled “Afro-formalism:  Owning the Masters” (after a famous essay by Marilyn Nelson.)  It was on Saturday afternoon, not the most propitious time-slot as a lot of folks were tired or packing up or winding down or just, well, hungover, and so was not [...] by

Eyjafjallajökull April 18, 2010: I’ve been in the States for almost two weeks—really the maximum time I can be away from my “real” life in Greece. My husband has been holding down the fort, which includes a five-year old boy and a six-month baby girl. I’m due to fly out in an hour—I’m lucky; I’ve got a direct flight and we’re far enough south, evidently, to [...] by

We’re all Praxillas now… April 16, 2010: Or at least Adonises. Praxilla was a woman poet writing in the 5th century BC.  While famed in her time as an equal to lyric poets Alcaeus and Anacreon, she is known now almost entirely for one fragment, that was proverbial in ancient times for its “silliness.”  In it, Adonis is answering the shades of the dead who want to know what he [...] by