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The ordinary sky April 23, 2010: There were high slow-travelling Clouds in the sky that threw large Masses of Shade upon some of the Mountains. We walked backwards & forwards between home & Olliffs till I was tired William kindled & began to write the poem. We carried Cloaks into the orchard & sate a while there I left him & he nearly finished the poem. I was [...] by

The Hush House (for Ange Mlinko) April 16, 2010: He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds, Surprizes, varies, and conceals the Bounds. At eighteen, I read Pope’s “Epistle to Lord Burlington”, and while not remotely interested in gardens, found myself compelled by the garden as a source of tension. Later I became interested in the hortus conclusus, not as an attribute [...] by

The Booth of Truth (for Daisy Fried) April 13, 2010: Do you sometimes feel you haven’t reached your full potential? Are you caring and thoughtful? Are you sometimes relaxed and confident in company – but other times shy and repressed? Questions you will face in The Booth of Truth. Some days after reading Daisy Fried’s post on the nerd poet, I found myself in the Under the [...] by

On looking at thyme under a microscope, the scientist reaches for a lemon April 3, 2010: ‘the Grain affords a very pretty Object for the Microscope, namely, a Dish of Lemmons plac’d in a very little room.’ Robert Hooke (1635-1703) by

A broader question December 31, 2008: G. And what have you found in Iceland? C. What have we found? More copy, more surface, Vignettes as they call them, dead flowers in an album – The harmoniums in the farms, the fine-bread and pancakes, The pot of ivy trained across the window, Children in gumboots, girls in black berets. R. And dead craters and angled crags. Louis MacNeice, [...] by

Recessive festive December 21, 2008: by

Hevenyssh December 16, 2008: Like the growth of crystals: a formative will and the impossibility of adopting any other mode. Comme le développement de cristaux: une volonté de formation, et une impossibilité de se former autrement que d’une manière. from "Faune et Flore", Francis Ponge, trans. Margaret Guiton As doth an hevenyssh perfit creature, That down were sent [...] by

Set aside December 12, 2008: Last weekend, walking along this beach, I wondered about all the bad poems and paintings this landscape has inspired. It's the Suffolk coast between Walberswick and Dunwich (a dangerously "poetic" place because most of it fell into the sea)*. I once sat on a judging panel for a poetry prize when, exhausted by how much was out there, we began to [...] by

The plain shape of things November 30, 2008: Something stops making sense, won’t stay still, can’t be grasped, and then you come across the plain shape of it - a simple version that says ‘This is what I mean.’ Once when I was broken-hearted, I went to stay in a place where it rained every day. Each morning when I opened my door and set out along the path, I found a heart-shaped [...] by

Old world November 25, 2008: 'First tell me what it was you thought you heard.' by