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Literary Friendships, Part II April 11, 2010: Earlier I posted about literary friendships, and indeed I was just at AWP for a panel on the late (is that possible?) Craig Arnold.   One of the most beautiful poem-portraits of literary friendship is surely Callimachus’ Elegy for Heraclitus.  It’s a perfect poem in Greek, in jewel-like elegiac couplets.  But in English, it is much more [...] by

The Explosion April 9, 2010: I too am here in Denver at AWP, where I was on the tribute panel for Craig Arnold.  And I was going to post some more about literary friendships, and about poets who have vanished from life into their words in the past few years.  But I am suddenly moved today to write instead in partial response to Mark Nowak’s post on the West Virginia [...] by

Literary Friendships, Part One April 4, 2010: One of the difficult things about ex-pat life is social—one doesn’t really fit in with the host country, nor, often, with the usual ex-pat crowd.  One has many acquaintances among local writers, but ultimately language can be a barrier as well as a shared passion.  And of course, being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t help on the isolation [...] by

Biting the Hand… April 1, 2010: National Poetry Month brings work to poets like me.  I should be all for it.   After all, what could be bad about getting the word out about poetry.  Hoorah for our team(s)!  But I confess that every time it rolls around, my heart sinks a little. I get tired of all the soul-searching around poetry (Why doesn’t anyone read us?  Why [...] by

Blog and Blat February 29, 2008: The Blog has been my companion for six months, padding after me in the house, wanting his daily rations of nourishment and attention. His tail thumps on the bed when I wake up in the morning, and he happily guides me to my desk, where I feed him and give him a scratch behind the ears. Good Blog. When we set out for a walk, the Blog is hard to [...] by

Tsiknopempti February 28, 2008: Today is... Tsiknopempti here in Greece! No, I don't expect that to ring any bells for most of you. The word literally means, "the-smell-of-roasting-meat-Thursday" and, in the preparation for the fasting of Lent (the Eastern church is on a slightly different calendar), people all over Greece will fire up the coals and put slabs of meat on the [...] by

Night Rhythm February 25, 2008: Mention of "The Sheep Child" here has called to mind all kinds of recollections from the Atlanta of my youth, in which, among literary circles at least, James Dickey loomed large. Everyone had a tale, either of generous encouragement, or booze-infused arrogance and aggression--sometimes both. I myself had witnessed his (probably inebriate) [...] by

Lightning and Lightning Bug February 22, 2008: I have been thinking about diction lately—the quandaries of word choice. Maybe it is partly to do with my 3-and-a-half–year old son’s vocabulary becoming richer and more sophisticated, and one finds oneself pushing him gently towards one word choice over another, though both might be more or less intelligible in context. Diction is often [...] by

Snow on the Parthenon February 18, 2008: It has been snowing—yes, snowing!—the past two days in Athens, and the concrete city of horn honking and jack hammers, illegal parking, protest-marches and garbage collection strikes, has suddenly been transformed—briefly— into something nearly silent and pristine. The Parthenon, sugar-dusted, gleams against a bright blue sky. Youths [...] by

Edward Lear February 15, 2008: I've been thinking about a post on Lear, but a couple of entries have pushed it to the fore... Steve's which mentions the ghazal, and Daisy's on Rexroth in Rome. And I have been thinking too about poet-painters and painter-poets. And it ties in as well with some of my recent entries on children's literature--Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss. One of [...] by