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Didn’t-go-to-the-AWP blues… February 9, 2008: As far as I can tell (apologies if I missed somebody), I am the ONLY current Harriet blogger not to have been at AWP in NY. What did I miss? Was there a secret meeting of Harrieteers? What did go on at all those parties? What was the most fabulous reading I missed? So here's a post for everyone who WASN'T there. What are your excuses? Your [...] by

Dr. Seuss February 6, 2008: Daisy's post with its reference to Dr. Seuss' The Foot Book reminds me of how important an influence Dr. Seuss is--acknowledged or not, consciously or unconsciously--to metrical poets of my generation. He gave us part of our ear for rhyme and our ear for rhythm. Sure, he is usually metrically quite regular, but the rhythms are highly [...] by

Boredom and the Imagination February 3, 2008: Boredom is the mother of imagination. How many of us began to be writers--even if it was telling stories to ourselves or other children--because of a lonesome childhood, or a childhood of sickness, or long afternoons in a house of grownups and grownup books, or later, endless tedious classes, where one's own imagination was the only [...] by

Seferis (more Greek Anthology…) February 2, 2008: Have ya’ll had enough of Greek poets yet? Hmmm. Probably so—this is the last one, promise. I am working on a review of George Seferis’ A Levant Journal, translated and edited by Roderick Beaton, due… erm, in a week or so I think. One of the curiosities of being an ex-pat poet is that people assume I am an expert on Greek poetry. And [...] by

More Cavafy January 30, 2008: Rigoberto writes here of encountering Cavafy in his high school library, and the sense of discovery and liberation Cavafy's frank evocation of homosexual eroticism gave him as a young poet. Reginald writes in the comment box that: All the translations I've read make Cavafy sound like prose broken into lines--well-written, sensitive, insightful [...] by

Alice January 28, 2008: When I was sick as a little girl (which was pretty often), I would lie in a darkened room with the cool whoosh of the humidifier beside me and would listen to LPs of a complete reading of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." The two things are combined in odd ways in my memory, as if being unwell was a kind of going down a rabbit hole into a [...] by

Happy Birthday, George Gordon, Lord Byron January 22, 2008: I live in a town where Byron is Big. There is a beautiful statue of him being embraced by Ellas (Greece) on the corner of a main thoroughfare. There is a street named after him in the center, on which he also has an eponymous hotel. Heck, there is a whole neighborhood named after him. There are even people named after him--Byron has become a [...] by

Translation: Rhyme & Reason January 20, 2008: Some of the lack of boldness in translation in the past fifty years or so has been a lack of technical boldness, of even attempting to get across the meter, rhyme sounds, puns, etc., of the original. After all, free verse represents a rather slim subset of poetry over the millennia. Can all poets of all times and languages really have sounded [...] by

Dead Letter Office January 16, 2008: Dear Letter, It's been a long time since I've written you. But I think about you often. It's always great to hear from you, to hold you, to gaze at the stamp of your beauty, your unique hand. Reading this article made me worry if you are OK. Are you OK? Sure I'm always sending electronic missives and epistles. (You must have known I was [...] by

Rhyme Driven January 13, 2008: As a poet who works in form, I weary of seeing in critiques--either in on-line workshops or in published reviews--the complaint that a poem or phrase or line is "rhyme driven." Of course rhyming poetry is rhyme driven. Rhyme is an engine of syntax. If rhyme is in the car I want her stepping on the gas, minding the wheel, eyes on the road, [...] by