Category: Art

On the Steps of the Jefferson Memorial

The simplest poems can be amongst the most profound. On the Steps of the Jefferson Memorial We invent our gods the way the Greeks did, in our own image—but magnified. Athena, the very mother of wisdom, squabbled with Poseidon like […] 

Bent to the Earth

Here is a scene of violence and inhumanity that feels torn from the front page of the newspaper or a report on the latest immigration raid outrage. But this is the kind of news that stays news because it keeps […] 

In Parenthesis: Part 1

This writing has to do with some things I saw, felt and was part of. The period covered begins in early December 1915 and ends in July 1916. – David Jones, in the preface to In Parenthesis 1937 In Parenthesis […] 

Appeal to the Grammarians

The temperature’s rising. Time to think about eating outside and settling in at a sidewalk cafe to watch the world go by. But beware! Dangers lurk everywhere and we need new punctuation to express our outraged reaction to a whole […] 

At The Bomb Testing Site

Jerry Harp’s commentary in the Kenyon Review brought this poem back to mind. Always good to be reminded of William Stafford. At The Bomb Testing Site by William Stafford At noon in the desert a panting lizard waited for history, […] 

We’re going to see the rabbit

‘We’re going to see the rabbit’ We are going to see the rabbit. We are going to see the rabbit. Which rabbit, people say? Which rabbit, ask the children? Which rabbit? The only rabbit, The only rabbit in England, Sitting […] 

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915) The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood This Eastertide call into mind the men, Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should Have gathered them and will do never again.     by […] 

Lines Written in Early Spring

Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature […] 

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W. H. Auden Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested […] 

What Kinds of Times are These

What Kinds of Times are These by Adrienne Rich There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted who disappeared […] 

Lard

A Facebook friend wanted some crowd-sourcing help for a piece she was editing. Her query asked readers to end the sentence  “When you think of lard …?” My answer was: “When I think of lard I think of Wiltshire lardy […] 

The Journey

The Journey  by Mary Oliver One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice– though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug […] 

Subway Rush Hour

Subway Rush Hour by Langston Hughes Mingled breath and smell so close mingled black and white so near no room for fear. Hughes published Subway Rush Hour in 1951 part of “Montage of a Dream Deferred”.  In “My Early Days […] 

Art and Treason: War Crimes and Responsibility

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual […] 

Sea Fever

Here’s another wonderful old chestnut: Sea Fever by John Masefield I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; […] 

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